The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Panel Consideration Outcome - Philip Deveney

Panel Consideration Outcome

30 August 2017

 Teacher  Philip Deveney
Registration number 175395
 Registration category Secondary
 Panel  Tony Bragg (Convener), Karen Lothian, Paul Walker
 Legal Assessor  James Mulgrew
 Servicing Officer  Gillian Sim
 Respondent's representative  

Any reference in this decision to:

  • "GTCS" means the General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • the "Panel" means the Fitness to Teach Panel considering the case
  • the "Rules" (and any related expression) means the GTCS Fitness to Teach and Appeals Rules 2017 or refers to a provision (or provisions) within them
  • The "Register" means the GTCS register of teacher; or
  • "COPAC" means the GTCS Code of Professionalism and Conduct

Notification of meeting

The Panel had before it a copy of the notice dated 29 March 2017. The Panel was satisfied that the Teacher had been provided with notice of the meeting in accordance with rules 1.6 and 2.3.1. Accordingly, the Panel proceeded to consider the case.

Preliminary matters

No preliminary matters were dealt with by the Panel.

Allegation(s)

Currently under investigation by General Pharmaceutical Council in respect of an alleged pharmacy matter dating from November, 2014. Information available to the panel:

  1. Case investigation form dated 7 March 2017.
  2. Notice of referral dated 28 March 2017.
  3. Track and trace print out dated 30 March 2017.
  4. Additional information letter dated 18 July 2017.
  5. Copy of statement given to GPhC.
  6. General Pharmaceutical Council’s Hearing outcome.
  7. Notification of new Fitness to Teach Rules 2017 by email dated 25 July 2017.
  8. Notification of new Fitness to Teach Rules 2017 email delivery receipt dated 25 July 2017.
  9. Response dated 22 August 2017.

Teacher’s response

The Teacher’s representative advised that the Teacher admitted the allegation. Further, the representative indicated that the Teacher was fit to teach and his fitness to teach was not currently impaired.

Summary of evidence and submissions

Proceedings had been taken against the Teacher by the General Pharmaceutical Council before their Fitness to Practice Committee. The Principal Hearing took place on Friday, 23 June 2017.

The allegation against the teacher was set out in the determination of the Hearing as follows:-

“That being first registered as a pharmacist on 22 July 1996 and whilst employed as a pharmacist at PHC (Pharmacy) Limited, Pollok Health Centre, Cowglen Road, Glasgow, G53 6EQ (“the Pharmacy”):

1. On 26 November, 2014,
1.1 you incorrectly input in to the MethaMeasure device 315ml of Methadone over seven days for Patient X
1.2 you supplied 45ml of methadone to Patient X against a prescription calling for 15ml of Methadone.

2. On 27 November 2014, when Patient X notified you of the error made in 1 above,
2.1 you did not contact Patient X’s prescriber to notify them of the error
2.2 you amended the MethaMeasure device to accurately reflect the prescription of 315ml of Methadone over 21 days.

3. On 15 January 2015, you informed Laura Wilson that you did not make any amendment to the MethaMeasure device on 27 November 2014.

4. On an unspecified date in January 2015, you advised Alan Harrison that December 2014 was the first time that you had been made aware of the error in 1 above.

5. On an unspecified date in February 2015, you advised Alan Harrison that you had no recollection that the MethMeasure device had been amended on 27 November 2014.

6. Your actions at 3, 4 and 5 above were dishonest in that:
6.1 you knew a dispensing error had occurred when the patient advised you of it on 27 November 2014
6.2 you knew that you had amended the MethaMeasure device on 27 November 2014, in order to rectify the error made the previous day
6.3 you knew the information you provided to Laura Wilson was not correct
6.4 You knew the information you provided to Alan Harrison was not correct

By virtue of the matters set out above your fitness to practice is impaired by reason of your misconduct”.

The Panel noted that the Teacher had admitted the factual aspects of the allegation before the Fitness to Practice Committee and that thereafter the Committee had found the Teacher’s Fitness to Practice as a Pharmacist impaired by reason of misconduct. The Committee had ordered the Teacher’s suspension from the Register for a period of six months. The Committee noted that the Teacher had shown a lack of candour in the allegation and separately at the Hearing before them.

The Teacher’s representative noted that the GPhC Committee had not accepted the Teacher’s account before them but that the Teacher respected the findings of the Committee. The representative invited the Panel to consider the busy environment of a pharmacy and the circumstances in which the Teacher was operating. The representative pointed to the Teacher’s otherwise excellent professional performance in the role of pharmacist which was supported by testimonials. The representative invited the Panel to find that the conduct within the allegation was wholly isolated and out of character for the Teacher. Further, the representative invited the Panel to find that the Teacher had learned a lesson from the allegation and proceedings.

Decision

The Panel considered all of the information available to it as described above.

The Panel had a range of options open to it, as set out at rule 2.3.2 (a) to (f). The Panel had regard to the factors set out in the GTCS Panel Consideration Practice Statement.

The Panel did not consider it appropriate to dispose of the case in accordance with rule 2.3.2

(a). The Panel reached this conclusion for the following reasons:

• The matter amounts to relevant conduct and there is on the face of it, a real prospect of a finding that the Teacher’s fitness to teach is impaired. The Panel considered the following factors relevant in that the conduct alleged relates to:
o Fraud or dishonesty The Panel considered the relevant Parts of COPAC to be:
o Part 1 – Professionalism and maintaining trust in the profession

• The matter has not already been considered.

• The matter is not frivolous or vexatious.

• The allegation had not been made anonymously or by a person who has failed to cooperate with the investigation. The Panel did not consider it appropriate to dismiss the case on the basis of an insufficiency of evidence as provided for by rule 2.3.2

(b). The allegation had been admitted by the Teacher. Furthermore, the Panel did not consider the referral to be malicious.

Fitness to Teach

The Panel carefully considered all of the available information and had regard to Part A of the GTCS Fitness to Teach Conduct Cases – Indicative Outcomes Guidance in considering whether the Teacher’s fitness to teach is currently impaired.

The Panel noted the nature of the allegation which referred to serious misconduct over a period of time on separate occasions which was dishonest. The Panel agreed that at the time of the behaviour, the Teacher’s actions fell below Parts 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 of CoPaC. The Panel also noted the ongoing lack of candour shown by the Teacher in the allegation and as noted by the GPhC Committee in the proceedings before them.

The Panel noted that the Teacher’s professional performance was not otherwise questioned. However, the Panel were not of the view that the misconduct could be said to be isolated given the allegation. Further, the Panel observed a lack of remorse and reflection on the part of the teacher. In particular the Panel noted that the Teacher’s reflection did not centre on the misconduct but on his own personal circumstances.

For these reasons, the Panel concluded that the Teacher’s fitness to teach is currently impaired.

Disposal

As the Panel concluded that the Teacher’s fitness to teach is currently impaired, it moved on to consider the appropriate disposal of the case. In considering this matter the Panel had regard to Part B of the GTCS Fitness to Teach Conduct Cases – Indicative Outcomes Guidance. In line with that guidance, the Panel considered the available options from least to most severe. The Panel noted that not all indicating factors required to be present for a disposal option to be considered appropriate.

The Panel required to consider what action it was appropriate to take against the Teacher. In reaching its decision the Panel had regard to the particular circumstances of the case, the interest of the Teacher and the public interest.

Having had regard to those factors the Panel decided that the Teacher should be made the subject of a Conditional Registration Order and a reprimand for a period of two years.

   The conditions that the Teacher must comply with are as follows:-

  1. You must inform the following parties that your GTCS Registration is subject to these conditions and provide them with a copy of the decision notice that resulted in this Order being imposed upon you:
    1. Any organisation or person employing you as a teacher or in a post for which GTCS Registration is required (whether on permanent, temporary or supply basis) ;
    2. Any prospective employer cover by (a) above at the time of the making your application for employment.
  2. You must maintain a reflective practice and continuing professional development portfolio detailing every occasion when you engage in such practice and development and must provide a copy of that portfolio within 7 days of the end of each school term to GTCS Fitness to Teach Department.
  3. The Panel concluded that was a fair and appropriate way of dealing with the case. It indicates to the public and profession the importance of honesty and integrity whilst allowing the Teacher to retain his registration and maintain his Fitness to Teach by specifying measures which will allow his ongoing Fitness to Teach to be supported and monitored.
    Having identified the appropriate disposal, the Panel decided to issue a consent order in accordance with rule 2.7. The terms of the consent order are set out in the separate “Consent Order” document.