Ambulance 'allowed to run out of fuel'

Ambulance 'allowed to run out of fuel'

A Paramedic has been struck off the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) register for allowing an ambulance to run out of fuel while answering an emergency call.

Paramedic David Hope, who has 34 years experience, was found not to have taken action after a trainee paramedic he was supervising told him that the ambulance had only one-quarter of a tank of fuel.The HCPC's conduct and competence committee heard how the ambulance ran out of fuel on the way to a call which resulted in a delay of 20 minutes in another paramedic reaching the patient.The panel further heard that Hope then asked a vehicle technician to say that the ambulance had stopped because the fuel was dirty, not that it had run out.Chair of the panel, Nicola Bastin commented: "The panel finds by the very nature of his misconduct that the registrant was impaired at the time as he acted dishonestly and failed to properly supervise a junior colleague."His actions caused a delay in a patient being treated and therefore had the potential to cause patient harm."At the time he had served 34 years as a paramedic and should have been fully aware of what was required of him."Given the particular nature of the registrant's misconduct, especially the dishonesty found, the need to uphold proper professional standards and maintain public confidence in the profession would be seriously undermined if a finding of impairment were not made."The panel decided the most appropriate action was to strike David Hope from the register with an Interim suspension order imposed to cover the appeal period.David Hope was not present or represented at the hearing.The Ambulance Service told UTV the incident happened in 2009 and Mr Hope has since left the service.In a statement the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said: "The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is aware of the decision of the HCPC conduct and competence committee to strike a former NIAS employee off the HCPC register."Internal procedures had commenced into the allegation but were closed without outcome due to the change of employment status of the individual."NIAS will continue to assist the HCPC where requested and is unable to provide any further comment."

© UTV

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