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Failure to provide adequate care (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 Failure to provide adequate care
Profession Paramedic
Standard

Standards of conduct, performance and ethics (updated in January 2016)
Standard 3. Work within the limits of your knowledge and skills
Standard 6. Manage risk
Standard 10. Keep records of your work

Standards of proficiency for paramedics (updated in August 2014)
Standard 1. Be able to practise safely and effectively within their scope of practice
Standard 2. Be able to practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of their profession
Standard 3. Be able to maintain fitness to practise
Standard 4. Be able to practise as an autonomous professional exercising their own professional judgement
Standard 8. Being able to communicate effectively
Standard 10. Being able to maintain records appropriately
Standard 14. Being able to draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice
Standard 15. Understand the need to establish and maintain a safe practice environment

Case study

A paramedic self-referred with an allegation that he carried out inadequate assessments. He failed to meet Clinical Performance Indicators, and failed to take a patient to the hospital who was complaining of chest pains. The registrant had not recorded the reason why he left the patient at home. Following another call to emergency services, the registrant attended with a second crew who found the patient unconscious. The patient subsequently passed away.

The Panel found that these actions amounted to misconduct. The Panel took into account that, whilst this was an isolated incident, it was a serious issue. The Panel was of the opinion that the registrant had breached core tenets of the profession and had put the patient at ‘unwarranted harm’. Whilst the registrant had provided submissions at the ICP stage expressing some remorse for what had happened to the patient, he had stopped engaging with the fitness to practise process from then onwards.

The registrant was an experienced paramedic and formerly a team leader. In his earlier submissions, he explained that he was no longer working in the profession and expressed a desire to retire from practice. Therefore, the Panel had no up-to-date information to demonstrate whether the registrant had shown insight, or that they were capable of remedying the failures. The Panel was not confident as to whether the registrant was currently in employment. In addition, the registrant was previously subject to FTP proceedings in 2014.

The Panel found that the registrant had not learnt from that experience and that his intention to retire from practice demonstrated an unwillingness to resolve any deficiencies in his practice. The Panel took into account the seriousness of the incident. It also considered the effect on public confidence in the profession, and the regulatory body, when making its decision to strike the registrant from the Register.

Measures we put in place to protect the public The Conduct and Competence Committee Panel imposed a striking-off order.
Published:
14/01/2019
Resources
Learning material
Subcategory:
Case study
Audience
Registrants, Employers
Profession
Paramedics
Page updated on: 14/09/2020
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