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Case study 6
A biomedical scientist (‘the registrant’) was made the subject of a Conditions of Practice Order after a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee found that on two occasions the registrant had failed to report blood sample abnormalities, indicating possible acute leukaemia, to a consultant haematologist.
The panel considered whether the facts proven amounted to misconduct but found that the errors made by the registrant were in the nature of mistakes. The panel heard evidence from the registrant where he genuinely tried to explain and find reasons for his errors. The panel found the registrant open and honest and that it appeared he was an experienced, professional and dedicated biomedical scientist who understood the potential serious consequences of the errors he had made. The panel therefore found the facts amounted to a lack of competence.
The panel noted that while the registrant had insight into his errors, he had not undertaken any remediation; his errors were such that the likelihood of repetition was unpredictable; and that while the registrant had demonstrated competence most of the time the two incidents has been serious lapses. Further, the panel noted that leukaemia may need to be treated urgently and delayed diagnosis may have serious consequences for service users. The panel therefore determined that the registrant was not safe to practise as an autonomous biomedical scientist and his fitness to practise was impaired by his lack of competence.
The panel concluded the appropriate sanction was a Conditions of Practice Order as it would protect the public however be proportionate to allow the registrant to continue to work, while remediating his areas of lack of competence, in the profession in which he had worked for a number of years without any issues.