Employers make majority of fitness to practise claims

Published: 13 December 2016 Ezine

Eighty-seven fitness to practise cases involving radiographers were referred to the Health and Care Professions Council in 2015/16.

Forty-nine cases were closed before they reached the HCPC’s investigating committee. Of those cases that went to a hearing, seven were suspended from the register and one was struck off. Two received a caution.

The most common referrer to the HCPC, 36 cases, were employers and 27 radiographer registrants self-referred. Ten complaints were made by the public and five by other registrants.

All this and much more information is contained in the regulator’s Fitness to Practise annual report.

There has been a steady increase in the number of cases over the past 10 years but these reflect the growing numbers of radiographers, who make-up 9% of the HCPC register. Radiographers represent 4% of all fitness to practise cases and are only 0.29% of registrants ‘subject to concerns’ compared to an average across all professions of 0.62%. 

The HCPC defines ‘fitness to practise’ as registrants having ‘the skills, knowledge and character to practise their profession safely and effectively. However, fitness to practise is not just about professional performance. It also includes acts by a professional which may affect public protection or confidence in the profession. This may include matters not directly related to professional practice.’

The HCPC says a professional’s fitness to practise is likely to be impaired if the evidence shows that they:
• Were dishonest, committed fraud or abused someone’s trust
• Exploited a vulnerable person
• Failed to respect service users’ rights to make choices about their own care
• Have health problems which they have not dealt with, and which may affect the safety of service users
• Hid mistakes or tried to block an investigation
• Had an improper relationship with a service user
• Carried out reckless or deliberately harmful acts
• Seriously or persistently failed to meet standards
• Were involved in sexual misconduct or indecency (including any involvement in child pornography)
• Have a substance abuse or misuse problem
• Have been violent or displayed threatening behaviour
• Carried out other, equally serious, activities which affect public confidence in the profession
• An entry to the HCPC Register has been made fraudulently or incorrectly.

Click here to download the HCPC Fitness to Practise Annual Report 2016.