HCPC vs Mark Russell

 

On November 11 last year, I was prosecuted by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) at the City of London Magistrates Court, where I was convicted of an offence under Article 31 of the Health and Care Professions Order and fined £270 plus costs of almost £6,000. The following week, the HCPC published a press release on their website and distributed it to the media and health service agencies. http://www.hcpc-uk.org/mediaandevents/pressreleases/index.asp?id=706 It read:

The Health and Care Professions Council has successfully prosecuted Mark Russell for using the title ‘chiropodist’ without being on the HCPC Register.

On Monday 11 November 2013, the City of London Magistrates’ Court heard how Mark Russell, of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, had continued to use the title of ‘chiropodist’ despite warnings from the HCPC to stop.

The Court found Mark Russell guilty of an offence with intent to deceive under Article 39 of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. He was fined £270 plus a victim surcharge of £27 and was ordered to pay the HCPC’s legal costs.

Director of Fitness to Practise Kelly Holder commented:

“Individuals cannot practise in the UK using one of our protected titles unless they are registered with the HCPC. It is a criminal offence for someone to claim that they are registered with us when they are not, or to use a protected title that they are not entitled to use. We will prosecute people who commit these crimes, as we have done with Mr Russell.

On February 26 this year, this conviction and sentence was successfully appealed at the Old Bailey in front of His Hon. Judge Pontius who set aside the conviction, sentence and costs. The prosecution barrister for the HCPC was also removed from the case at the conclusion of proceedings. A full report on these proceedings will follow shortly.

Meanwhile, one month after the Old Bailey appeal the HCPC have still not updated their website which is altogether rather misleading – and given the central issue of this case – “with intent to deceive” one wonders who this really applies to….

4 comments on “HCPC vs Mark Russell

  1. gillian francis on said:

    hi Mark
    i have deregistered due to an awful time over allegations that destroyed me of which i was not guilty, and as my Mh was ignored as were my disabilities, ( EA 2010), i refused to be struck off for alleged crimes i did not commit. So i de-registered, but have always stated that i obtained my degree in 1998 and therefore i will use it when i return to work it’s mine and as long as i am not misleading the public etc.
    i am very glad you have argued this and i will support you any way i can etc, i call myself a Footologist this being someone who has the necessary training and qualification ( ie BSc Pod) but does not call themselves a HCPC podiatrist to their patients.
    Maybe we need to have this title registered.

    • Hi Gillian – aye they are a bunch! Maybe we’ll see a new bunch in the near future and it would be good if they could learn from past mistakes, but from the various articles the current bunch have published, it would seem a forlorn hope. We’d be struck off if we practised like that. All the best – Mark

  2. Nick Farmer on said:

    Is there any definitive result in this case please? Can we come away from the HCPC and still legally call ourselves Pods etc? Thanks. Nick

    • Hi Nick – the law is quite clear on use of titles mow. If you cease registration from the HCPC you can lawfully use the title providing you make it expressly clear that you are no longer registered in a publicly accessible notice. You must not claim or infer that you are still registered in any way. The definitive case hearing will take place in the near future at the Court of Appeal. Will post details of the hearing shortly.

      Best wishes.

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