Our case studies are based on real life fitness to practise concerns we have received
Type of concern: Bringing profession into disrepute / inappropriate comments on social media
Standards of conduct, performance and ethics (updated in August 2012)
- Standard 3. You must keep high standards of personal conduct
- Standard 13. You must behave with honesty and integrity and make sure that your behaviour does not damage the public’s confidence in your profession
A paramedic self-referred after he posted inappropriate comments on social media, which caused his employer to suspend him.
A Conduct and Competence Committee panel considered the allegation against the registrant, who attended the hearing and was represented.
The registrant admitted all of the facts of the allegation.
The Panel found some of the facts proved amounted to misconduct.
The posts were on a public social media page and the registrant had included details of his employer.
They felt the inflammatory and offensive posts on social media could damage the public’s perception of the profession.
The Panel found that the registrant demonstrated insight, remorse and remediation.
The Panel felt that there was a low risk of the incident being repeated.
However, in considering the public interest the Panel felt that a finding of impairment was necessary to maintain confidence in the profession and the regulator.
The Panel wanted to send a clear message to the public and other health professionals that offensive and inflammatory language towards others would not be tolerated.
The Panel then went on to consider sanctions.
They decided that, because of the strong mitigating factors in this case, the imposition of a caution order was proportionate.
The Panel struck a proper balance between the need to mark the gravity of the registrant’s actions, whilst recognising the long and unblemished career, and personal, exceptional mitigation.
Measures we put in place to protect the public
The Conduct and Competence Committee Panel imposed a twelve-month caution order
- Learning material
- Case study
- Registrants, Employers