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Scientist sacked from Countess for incompetence suspended for year

Karen Collister botched blood tests and copied her colleague's work

The Countess of Chester Hospital

A scientist sacked from the Countess of Chester Hospital for incompetence has been suspended for a year.

Karen Collister fell foul of a Health and Care Professions Council panel earlier this month.

After botching blood tests and copying a colleague’s work in 2011 her employment was terminated by the NHS trust due to a 'lack of competence and misconduct'.

She had been placed under a two-year conditions of practice order in 2013 by the HCPC, which was then extended for a further 12 months in 2015 after it was reviewed.

But Mrs Collister has not worked as a biomedical scientist since being sacked by the Countess in 2011.

This meant she had not shown any evidence of ‘remediation’ and the HCPC panel chose to impose the suspension.

HCPC panel chairwoman Lubna Shuja commented: “The panel recognise Mrs Collister has faced difficulties in complying with the conditions of practice in that she has been unable to obtain work as a biomedical scientist.

“The panel’s assessment was that there still remains some prospect she can be rehabilitated and return to unrestricted practise.”

Mrs Collister, who was not present at the hearing, has had her name suspended from the HCPC register for 12 months.

She told the HCPC: “The unfortunate position I find myself in is as a direct result of my losing my job as a biomedical scientist.

“I have been unable to find any similar employment, I think due to these conditions of practice. I fought so hard to prevent the whole dreadful experience from happening but to no avail.

“Also the fact that I have now been out of the laboratory for more than four years does not recommend me to potential employers.”

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The HCPC said there was no evidence of attempts by the ‘registrant’ to find work, paid or voluntary, as a biomedical scientist.

In the view of the panel there was ‘no compelling evidence’ for striking Mrs Collister off the register completely.

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