A paramedic based in Northern Ireland has recently been struck off by the Health and Care Professions Council after he failed to ensure that his ambulance had enough fuel.
Mr Hope was advised by a trainee paramedic who was working with him that the ambulance only had a quarter tank of fuel left, however he failed to take action. Mr Hope, who was supervising the trainee, also failed to advise him of the need to ensure that ambulances should not have a fuel level of below half a tank prior to the commencement of each shift. The ambulance later stopped when responding to an emergency call which resulted in a 20 minute delay.
Following the incident Mr Hope is said to have called a vehicle technician at Rent a Merc asking him to report that the vehicle stopped due to dirty fuel as opposed to running out of fuel. He disputed this.
The Conduct and Competence Committee found that Mr Hope had acted dishonestly and that he had failed to properly supervise a junior colleague. The panel commented that Mr Hope’s “actions caused a delay in a patient being treated and therefore had the potential to cause patient harm. At the time he had served 34 years as a paramedic and should have been fully aware of what was required of him.”
The Panel went on to comment that “In light of the deliberate and reckless actions of the Registrant and his lack of any real insight into them the Panel finds that the appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case is a Striking Off Order.”
Mr Hope did not attend his hearing, nor was he legally represented. In such serious cases it is always advisable for the registrant to attend their hearing and to be legally represented by a specialist.
By Francesca Richards, a trainee solicitor
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