Former NHS Shetland psychologist subject of incompetence hearing

A former NHS Shetland clinical psychologist is the subject of a hearing over alleged misconduct or incompetence.

The conduct and competence hear­ing, being conducted in Aber­deen this week by regulatory body the Health Professions Council, is looking into four allegations against Joyce Davies, who worked for NHS Shetland from March 2005 to June 2009.

The allegations are that either through misconduct or lack of compe­tence, Mrs Davies failed to maintain adequate patient records, failed to maintain effective and co-operative communication with col­leagues and other health profes­sionals, did not provide records re­quested by fellow health profes­sionals and did not provide them in a timely manner, and failed in her obligation to make sure formal super­vision arrangements were in place.

The HPC has been hearing evidence of witnesses since Monday in the Hilton Aberdeen Treetops Hotel. The case is expected to last five days but, according to an HPC spokeswoman, it could take longer.

As regulator of health services in roles supplementary to medicine, the council oversees health profes­sionals in the UK and has, according to its website, “wide-ranging powers to deal with individuals who pose an unacceptable risk to the public” and could suspend or strike off anyone not deemed to meet the required standard.

Mrs Davies, who has been in Shet­land for five-and-a-half years, lives in Sandwick but was in Glas­gow yesterday for the Pope’s visit. She declined to com­­ment, saying only that the matter was in the hands of her solicitors.

Complaints about a health profes­sional could come from a member of the public or from fellow health professionals.

Every case referred to the council is assessed by a case manager who decides whether a hearing is approp­riate. Hearings are normally held in private but the results are published on the organisation’s website.

Sanctions, if imposed, could range from a caution, a temporary suspension, allowing time for pos­sible further training, or being struck off, in which case the individual can appeal after five years.

The HPC is one of 13 health and social care regulators in the UK. One of its key functions is to publish a register of health professionals who meet the HPC standard.


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