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HPC v SH (Occupational Therapist)

A decision of the panel of the Health Professions Council Conduct and Competence Committee

21 September 2009

Ms SH, an occupational therapist, has been suspended from the HPC Register for poor clinical practice and failing to maintain accurate patient records whilst working at the Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust.

A panel of the HPC Conduct and Competence Committee heard how concerns were raised in regard to SH’s clinical reasoning and time management skills during the course of her employment at the Trust. The Registrant failed to close notes in a timely fashion and kept patient notes open for as long as three weeks after discharge.
The Panel further heard how SH failed to carry out an appropriate risk assessment of a patient’s functional activity, failed to carry out patient assessments on her own and was unable to make professional judgments about patient care. The Panel also heard that she questioned a patient inappropriately about whether she had been sexually abused in the past.

Panel Chair, Mr Gordon Sutehall, commented:

“The Panel is satisfied that the Registrant’s lack of competence extended over a long period and was widespread across significant fields of practice. There was no evidence that the Registrant had taken any steps to address her lack of competence as an OT since her resignation on Friday 4 January 2008”

“The Panel is also satisfied that the Registrant’s fitness to practice is impaired by reason of lack of competence.”

The panel decided the most appropriate action was to suspend SH from the Register for a period of 12 months.