North East Wales

Paramedic Shaun Foster 'misused flashing blue lights'

Jennifer Singleton
Image caption Jennifer Singleton found the paramedic quite threatening, the panel heard

A paramedic misused flashing blue lights in his car to pull over a woman and tell her off about her driving, a disciplinary hearing has been told.

Shaun Foster, 38, used the emergency lights as he drove to work in Wrexham on Christmas Day, 2010.

The Health Professions Council was told the lights are for emergencies only.

The panel was told he admitted using the lights, but wanted to prevent an accident. Mr Foster denies misconduct and the hearing continues.

The hearing in Cardiff was told that the motorist, Jennifer Singleton, a nurse at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, was shocked by Mr Foster's actions.

Presenting the disciplinary case against him, Laura Ryan described how the nurse was on dual carriageway when she noticed the white car with a blue stripe and blue lights flashing on the dashboard.

"She saw the lights and the driver motioned for her to pull over," said Ms Ryan.

"She believed he was on his way to an emergency because of the way he was coming up behind her.

"She pulled up to the kerb. When he got out of the car, he asked her where she was going and told her to drive more carefully.

"She did not know what he was referring to and found him quite threatening."

Formal warning

The nurse later made a formal complaint against Mr Foster, who was suspended pending an investigation.

The hearing was told that the only time a paramedic should use flashing lights are at an emergency, responding to an emergency or to let people know you are near, or if there is a hazard.

Ambulance Trust investigating officer Keith Williams told the panel: "I believe he was frustrated with Jennifer Singleton's actions and he pulled her over to tell her off.

"His actions in stopping her were more befitting of a policeman.

"He didn't need to have the lights on and we believe it constituted misuse and he was issued with a formal written warning."

The hearing was told that Mr Foster admitted using the lights.

But Kate Stone, representing him, said: "He says he stopped her out of concern for her safety and the safety of other road users.

"It was a spontaneous reaction to an incident, a spur of the moment decision in order to prevent an accident."

The disciplinary panel also heard that a complaint to police led to no action been taken.

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