ODP Suspended after Failing to Follow Policies in Respect of Medicines' Management and Controlled Drugs

Operating department practitioner Cleon E Burke has been suspended from the HCPC Register for six months on grounds of misconduct following his failure to follow policies in respect of Medicines' Management and controlled drugs (CDs) and failure to obtain countersignatures and/or to escalate matters as required whilst employed by the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.



A panel of the HCPC Conduct and Competence Committee heard that Mr Burke’s duties included signing CDs out of their secure cupboard and maintaining a stock balance of CDs using the controlled drugs register. After being alerted to amendments in entries on a particular page of the register in relation to the amount of Fentanyl ampoules given to Patients 3 and 4, Mr Burke’s line manager completed an incident form and an internal investigation commenced.

The investigation concluded that the stock balance in the register did not tally with the number of ampoules in the secure cupboard. Concerns were also raised about an absence of recording of the specific time and date for each and every entry.

The Panel further heard allegations against Mr Burke that he was working as an operating department practitioner between 10 May 2011 and 13 November 2012, during which time he was not registered with the HCPC.

Panel Chair Jane Everitt commented:

“Given the legal significance of the CD register and the importance that must be attributed to the safe and accountable handling of CDs, the Panel was satisfied that public confidence in the ODP profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made in this case.

“The fact of being unregistered is a serious matter. A major purpose of registration is to ensure that professionals remain safe and effective in their roles. Public confidence in the ODP profession, and by extension in the system of regulation, would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made against a registrant who had continued to practice under a legally protected title, whilst not registered, for a period of some 18 months.”

The Panel decided the appropriate sanction was to impose a six month suspension order.

Cleon E Burke was not present or represented at the hearing.



Source: HCPC



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