A physiotherapy manager at a private hospital in Worcestershire has been put under special conditions for three years for swearing at colleagues and putting patients at risk.
The Health Professions Council (HPC) ruled Russell Willis, from Droitwich, was guilty of a series of misconduct charges and imposed conditions on his licence for three years.
During that time, Willis has been banned from managing any other physiotherapist and must inform any employer about the order.
Willis worked as the rehabilitation and physiotherapy manager at Droitwich Spa Hospital and had been employed there since the mid 1980s.
The manager admitted putting patients at risk by leaving them unsupervised doing physiotherapy exercises in order to carry out other duties, behaving improperly towards team members by swearing, being abrupt and rude towards them plus also not limiting his practise when he was in a poor state of health.
Despite being highly respected by patients, Willis failed to attend management team meetings or do regular appraisals of staff, the disciplinary panel was told.
The HPC panel heard that because of Willis’ excessive case load, as many as six patients could be booked in for treatment at the same time, when they were left alone in the gym for up to ten minutes despite a risk of them being injured or going into a “life-threatening arrest”.
But evidence showed that despite suffering with stress for more than a year before matters came to a head in the summer of 2008.
“Willis stated that he swore when frustrated but did not direct his words towards an individual,” said a HPC spokesman.
“He also said that he always apologised afterwards. The Panel finds that he had acted in this way for some time and that there were some occasions when it occurred in the hearing of patients and gym users.
“Willis did not appear to appreciate the full extent of the inappropriateness of swearing and foul language. He did not appear to acknowledge the fundamental importance of the management component of his professional role.”
The panel deemed a caution order was not appropriate as it would not ensure Willis didn’t “fall back into his old ways”.