Case Summaries

Back to Case Summaries

Placement - CS032407

An operating department practice student had been given a second attempt at a placement because not all of their first-year practice competencies had been signed off. The student was later withdrawn from the programme because they did not pass their second attempt.

The student submitted a complex complaint to the provider raising several issues, including concerns about a number of aspects of their second placement experience, the decision to withdraw them from the programme, and the decision that they were not eligible for an exit award. The provider did not uphold any strands of the student’s complaint and the student complained to us.

The student had missed several days of their placement for a variety of reasons, including illness and family circumstances, and hadn’t always followed the placement organisation’s absence reporting procedure. Because there were ongoing concerns about their attendance, knowledge and professional skills, the student was placed on an action plan. The student complained that this was discriminatory and that the provider and placement organisation hadn’t properly taken the circumstances around their absences into account despite being aware of them. The student also complained that their request to reduce their placement hours during a period of religious observance had been unreasonably refused. The student had asked to be allowed to attend for half days and to make up the hours at another time, including during the evenings and at weekends.

We reviewed the student’s complaint and decided not to uphold it (we decided it was Not Justified) because we thought the provider’s final decision was reasonable. None of the information or evidence we saw suggested that the action plan had been put in place for any other reason than to support the student to successfully complete their first year of practice. We also decided that the student’s request to amend their hours during a period of religious observance had been properly considered, and that they had been given a clear and reasonable explanation of why this wouldn’t be possible. The provider and the placement organisation needed to carefully balance the student’s request with ensuring they would still be able to achieve the intended learning outcomes and required placement hours. The placement organisation was also unable to support students on placement during evenings and weekends. There were already concerns about the student’s ability to meet the minimum attendance requirements, and there was a deadline for the student to demonstrate they’d met the year one practice competencies. The decision was also consistent with the provider’s attendance policy for students on professional programmes, which said that requests for time off for religious festivals would be considered but couldn’t be guaranteed due the nature of healthcare delivery.

We also decided that it was reasonable for the provider not to have upheld the other strands of the student’s complaint about their placement experience, the decision that they had not passed their first year of practice, and the decision that they were ineligible for an exit award.