On 5 April 2016 the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal considered a charge of professional misconduct laid by the Director of Proceedings against Ms E a psychologist (the psychologist).
The charge alleged that the Psychologist failed to set and/or maintain appropriate professional boundaries with a former patient and that the Psychologist engaged in sexual and/or intimate encounters with her former patient.
The hearing proceeded on the basis of an agreed summary of facts and the Psychologist accepted that her actions amounted to professional misconduct and warranted disciplinary sanction.
The Tribunal found that the charge was upheld and was a serious departure from professional standards, coupled with the Psychologist's dishonesty in attempting to cover her tracks and that the conduct constituted both malpractice and conduct likely to bring discredit the psychologist's profession.
The Psychologist, soon after the events in question, voluntarily relinquished her registration and the Tribunal noted that it was to her credit she recognised that her departure from the standards which the public and profession are entitled to expect of her were simply too significant for her to be able to contemplate retaining her registration.
The Tribunal stated that although it did not finally decide on this, had the Psychologist remained in practice there was a very real prospect that the Tribunal's penalty order would have included cancellation.
The Tribunal ordered that the Psychologist be censured and that she pay 30% of both the Tribunal and the Director of Proceedings' costs. Conditions were also imposed that are to be completed before the Psychologist applies for re-registration if she chooses to do so.
Permanent orders of suppression were granted for the name of the Psychologist and any information that may lead to her identification or that of her former patient.
The Tribunal directed publication of its decison and a summary, subject to the suppression orders.