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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Do you deal with regulatory proceedings?

Customer Question

Do you deal with regulatory proceedings? I am trying to help someone with her fitness to practice hearing with the HCPC but I am finding it very difficult to obtain advice. Would be grateful for any suggestions.

A friend is involved in regulatory proceedings regarding her fitness to practice as an occupational therapist. She is bi-polar and as result of a hypo manic episode in September 2013 wrote several texts and email messages to a colleague who she believed was responsible for her resigning her job. The colleague in question was a good friend but a year prior to the incident there had been a falling out and my friend felt that her colleague had been deliberately trying to undermine her at work for a long time.

It appears that someone at work contacted a police officer, who had been employed in the same unit as my friend before joining the police force, in order to find out about allegations of burglary that my friend had made to the police station where the officer worked. As a result the officer made a complaint to the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) questioning her fitness to practice. The officer later provide details of the allegations and the investigating officers observations of my friends behaviour, which include paranoia, agitation and admission that she had smoked cannabis. She was obviously completely bonkers at the time. All this occurred before my friend began sending nasty emails and texts to her former colleague and friend who she blamed for her leaving her job.

The matter was referred to a panel of the conduct committee and the hearing is due on the 22nd-24th June.

My concern is whether the police officer was under any statutory duty to report to the HCPC and if not could we argue that this was a breach of her right not to have her confidential information passed to a third party. The officer did not know my friend, had no contact with her and was not involved in the investigation of her complaint. He could not provide any evidence to the HCPC of how he was able find out that my friend was an occupational therapist working at the particular facility. Could the HCPC have colluded with the officer to disclose confidential information that he was not entitled to disclose? Furthermore, the information was prejudicial and a detriment to my friend's ability to continue in her profession.

I also feel that my friend's communications with her colleague was the result of a friendship that had gone wrong and was nothing to do with her behaviour generally. It was a personal affair and as such should not be judged as behaviour that was so bad that it should affect her fitness to practice. When she recovered my friend apologized to her former colleague and was very distressed by the way she had behaved.

I would be grateful for your advice.

Many thanks Paula XXXXXX

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am willing to wait for an expert.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could you please continue to search.
Thank you
Paula
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
Please understand it is rare for us not to be able to find the right Professional to assist our customers. We can close this question and return your good faith deposit to the original funding source on request.
Please let me know how you wish to proceed and again I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
I hope you will give JustAnswer a try again in the future,
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for trying but I would like to withdraw my question and try elsewhere.
Regards
Paula

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