East of England paramedic suspended after students allege misconduct
PUBLISHED: 19:17 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:09 21 July 2017
A paramedic for the East of England Ambulance Service has been suspended for six months on grounds of misconduct for failing to provide the correct care to a patient whose heart had stopped.
Despite an otherwise “unblemished” 13-year career for the trust, a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) panel has found Laurence P Milton’s actions on November 15, 2015, fell “well short” of the proper standards and did not “maximise” the patient’s chances of survival.
First on the scene to treat the man who had suffered a cardiac arrest, Mr Milton was later assisted by two student paramedics, who made the allegations against him.
The hearing, held from July 10-13 this year, found Mr Milton had failed to establish a cardiac rhythm at the earliest opportunity, failed to commence CPR at the appropriate time and had administered only two doses of adrenaline, when three or more were needed.
The HCPC report into the investigation states: “The Registrant’s actions on the day had placed Patient A at risk of harm as the shortfalls in the care he received did not maximise the chances of achieving ROSC [return of spontaneous circulation].”
The panel ordered for Mr Milton, who was present at the hearing and was represented by Rachel Wilson, of Blackfords LLP, to be suspended from the HCPC register for six months, starting from August 10, 2017.
Chairman of the panel, Andrew Gall, said: “There was no evidence before the Panel to satisfy it that Mr Milton had undertaken the necessary reflection and fully accepted what he had done wrong. Moreover, the Panel also finds that there is a need to uphold proper standards of conduct and professionalism and to send a clear message to the profession about the unacceptability of Mr Milton’s misconduct.”
The panel determined that Mr Milton is a competent paramedic and that this was an “isolated” incident.
However, the report adds that on the day in question Mr Milton was “aware of the appropriate procedure and chose not to follow it”.
Mr Milton was also accused of making inappropriate comments to the student paramedics during the incident, including: “I hope we don’t get a ROSC because I have already told the wife he is dead and we are just doing this for show for the family”, but this was not upheld.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said it “thoroughly investigated” the allegations when they came to light, fully co-operated with the HCPC probe and added that Mr Milton left the trust last year.