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Dishonesty by falsifying time sheet and travel expense claims (fitness to practise case study)

Our case studies are based on real life fitness to practise concerns we have received. They illustrate the types of issues that are taken into consideration by a panel when deciding if a registrant’s fitness to practise is impaired, and if so what sanction to apply.

Type of concern Dishonesty by falsifying time sheet and travel expense claims
Profession Physiotherapist
Standard

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 you or your profession

Standards of proficiency for physiotherapists (updated in August 2013)
Standard 3. Be able to maintain fitness to practise
Standard 3.1. Understand the need to maintain high standards of personal and professional conduct

Case study

The NHS Counter Fraud Unit of the local NHS Trust raised concerns about a physiotherapist. On numerous occasions, the registrant submitted timesheets and claimed payments for hours they did not work. They, also, submitted timesheets purporting to be signed by a colleague when they had not been and claimed travel expenses which they were not entitled to and after they were no longer employed.

A Conduct and Competence Committee panel considered the allegation against the registrant, who did not attend the hearing. Having found most of the facts proved, the Panel determined that the registrant’s actions were dishonest and that they would have known they were. The Panel decided that such behaviour fell far below the standards expected of a registrant and amounted to misconduct.

Although this allegation did not concern issues of public protection, the Panel decided that a finding of impairment was necessary. It was necessary to uphold and maintain proper standards, and maintain confidence in the profession. As the registrant did not engage with the process, the Panel had no evidence of remorse or insight. The Panel considered that there were no mitigating factors in this case. The Panel agreed that any lesser sanction than a striking-off order would not meet the wider public interest. The Panel thought that any lesser sanction would not act as a deterrent to other registrants. It would, also, not uphold the reputation of the profession and maintain public confidence in the regulatory process.

Measures we put in place to protect the public The Conduct and Competence Committee imposed a striking-off order.

 

Published:
14/01/2019
Resources
Learning material
Subcategory:
Case study
Audience
Registrants, Employers
Profession
Physiotherapists
Page updated on: 14/09/2020
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