21st February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Chiropodist accused of causing ‘excessive pain’ to patients

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A chiropodist who worked for NHS Shetland is being investigated by the Health Professions Council after complaints about her fitness to practise.

Gillian Francis, from Lerwick, who worked in Mid Yell Health Centre, is charged with causing excessive pain and bleeding to patients, saying to a colleague that she wanted to repeatedly stab her manager and placing inappropriate content on her Myspace page, which included “young women in provocative clothing”.

Ms Francis is currently facing more than 20 charges at the competence and conduct committee in a six-day hearing in Nottingham.

The main charges allege that she had “an unhealthy attitude to pain”. She is charged with providing inappropriate treatment, including a “toe-popping” technique, causing patients agonising pain and bleeding. It is alleged that in 2009 she failed to stop a patient’s treatment after the patient complained of pain and asked her to stop. Instead she continued treatment, causing further suffering. This also breached patient consent. In this case she failed to wash her hands or change her gloves, and did not take into account a pre-existing medical condition and failed to provide follow-up advice.

It is also alleged Ms Francis openly criticised colleagues’ treatment of patients, discussed personal problems with colleagues during treatment sessions and carried out treatment, which caused undue pain, to a patient in their home after she had been suspended by her employer.

She is further charged with bringing the profession into disrepute by her “inappropriate” and “aggressive” entries on her Myspace page.  

Ms Francis also allegedly referred patients to the orthotics department when there was no need and unnecessarily modified orthoses.

The hearing will conclude on Thursday and will decide whether through misconduct or lack of competence her fitness to practise in impaired.

A spokesman for NHS Shetland said: “[Ms Francis] is no longer in our employment.”

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