East of England Ambulance paramedic struck off for posting photos of patients at crash scenes on Facebook
- Credit: Archant
An East of England Ambulance Service paramedic who posted pictures on a social media site of incidents he attended to draw people to his online jewellery store has been struck off.
Simon Williams was suspended for 12 months in June last year by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) on the grounds of misconduct while employed by the East of England Ambulance Service.
However, the HCPC decided, at a hearing on June 14, to take his name off the register entirely, saying that he would present “a continuing risk to the public” if allowed to practise in the future.
Williams, who was not present at the hearing due to health issues, had been working for the trust for 11 years when, in 2014, he posted various photographs on Instagram including pictures of car crash scenes.
A report into the hearing stated: “These had a number of ‘likes’ on them, indicating that some members of
the public had seen them
and formed an opinion of them.”
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One photograph had shown a patient being fitted with a stent following a heart attack, while another showed extensive blood on a floor with the comment “bloodbath” and referenced the location, the diagnoses, age and sex of the patient.
The trust launched disciplinary proceedings against Williams after it was made aware of his actions by a Twitter user who stated that they were “not impressed” and provided a link to the Williams’ Instagram posts.
Williams had said during an interview with the trust that he had “not thought it through” when posting the photographs and stated that he had been “stupid” but had taken the pictures to drive people to his online jewellery business.
He added that shortly after he received notice that the trust was taking the matter further he took all the photographs down from his Instagram account.
The matter was then referred to the HCPC.
The report of this month’s hearing concluded: “There has been an ongoing failure to address the issues which gave rise to the suspension order.
“There is a complete lack of evidence of any type of remediation, reflection and insight on the part of the registrant [Williams].
“In all of these circumstances, the registrant presents a continuing risk to the public if he is allowed to practise in the future.”
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “We investigated the case fully when allegations came to light. We suspended him on the grounds of gross misconduct in January 2015 and was dismissed from the trust in April 2015.”