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Case study 7
A panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee considered an allegation that a speech and language therapist (‘the registrant’) had not demonstrated an adequate level of clinical competence. In particular, she was unable to consistently formulate and implement suitable clinical recommendations; had failed to maintain accurate and clear written records; and had failed to communicate appropriately with service users.
The panel heard evidence from the registrant, who admitted the facts of the allegation and accepted the facts amounted to a lack of competence when judged against the standard applicable to the post she was working in at the time. The registrant had accepted several promotions within her first two years of employment, culminating in an appointment to a Band 7 post in which she was responsible for both adults and children service users.
The panel noted that the criticisms of the registrant’s practice all related to her working as a Band 7 post with adult service users. It also noted after encountering a number of difficulties at the Band 7 level, the registrant sought redeployment at a lower banding working with children service users only.
The registrant provided the panel with a number of positive testimonials and letters to demonstrate that since being redeployed she has been working at an acceptable level.
The panel concluded the registrant’s acceptance that the facts amounted to a lack of competence was correct when judged by the standard of a Band 7 post. Whilst noting that it was the registrant’s responsibility to ensure that she did not accept a role that was beyond her skills and experience, the panel was satisfied that she had developed a full insight into that error; had demonstrated self-awareness in removing herself from the Band 7 post; and that she would be highly unlikely to make a similar mistake in the future.
The panel therefore concluded the registrant was able to practise safely without restriction in her current role and found the allegation that the registrant’s fitness to practise was currently impaired by reason of lack of competence was not well found. No further action was taken.