by Cate Munro
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A COUNCILLOR and magistrate struck-off the physiotherapist’s register for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a patient has failed to get the ban overturned.
But Ken Churchill, who represents Little Paxton at district and county council level, has vowed: “The fight has only just begun.”
He was struck off by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in June last year after allowing “an intimate and sexual relationship” to develop with a patient.
Cllr Churchill, of Gordon Road, challenged the ruling in a hearing on Friday and although unsuccessful has pledged to fight on to clear his name.
In 2011, a two-day hearing was told Mr Churchill had been treating a 72-year-old woman – known as Patient A – since 2006 for a back injury and had continued to treat her for subsequent injuries.
“It was in January 2010 that it is alleged an inappropriate sexual relationship developed and continued for some time during treatment,” the HCPC said. Patient A maintained he had been very supportive after her husband had died, had behaved with total decorum and she had become emotionally dependent on him.
During the appeal process, the panel had to consider whether Cllr Churchill’s evidence was new, relevant and whether it had become available since the striking off order was made.
But they found that the evidence submitted – such as differing accounts of the interior of his home, and his hyper-sensitivity to being touched on the back – could have been raised during the original hearing.
The panel also said that evidence highlighting discrepancies over the weight-bearing limit of his couch was neither new nor relevant “as Patient A’s evidence was that they cuddled on her settee”.
Additional discrepancies over the correct name for a pub in Great Staughton were also deemed too minor to discredit Patient A’s evidence.
Based on these conclusions, the panel said a review of the striking off order was not permitted.
Cllr Churchill told The Hunts Post he was in discussions with his legal team about his next move.
He said: “We are extremely disappointed that the HCPC review panel chose to treat as irrelevant 25 items of new documentary evidence supported by witness statements.”
He said his complaints against the HCPC, formally the HPC, lodged nearly four months ago, were in respect of procedure, protocol and documentation.
“We have been advised there are a number of legal avenues which remain open to us which could be pursued, including a high court appeal,” said Cllr Churchill.
“I, and my investigative and legal teams, remain focused on achieving justice in this case and to ensure that no other registrant be subjected to the same treatment which I have been afforded by this body.
“The fight has only just begun.”