A CORU inquiry has begun into allegations of poor professional performance and professional misconduct by radiographer Kashimbo Musonda.

The events relate to two-and-a-half weeks in University Hospital Waterford, from 20 February to 17 March 2017.

It is the first public fitness to practise inquiry by CORU, which regulates a range of health and social care professionals.

The five allegations include a failure to display the skills or knowledge to safely practice as a radiographer.

It is also alleged Ms Musonda displayed a lack of competence in radiographic positioning for X-rays and that she exposed a patient’s mother to radiation.

It is also alleged there were cases where she did not ask women of childbearing age if they were pregnant prior to getting an X-ray.

Barrister for CORU Eoghan O'Sullivan said there were issues over the level of X-ray radiation exposure Ms Musonda had sought to use in cases and that she also mistook a knee for an elbow.

He said the shortcomings were numerous and varied. The inquiry follows a complaint made by the hospital on 31 March 2017.

The inquiry has been told concerns about Ms Musonda’s professional abilities arose almost immediately.

She had been recruited through the HSE national recruitment service and had been due to work for six months in the post to fill a vacancy.

Ms Musonda is not in attendance or represented at this inquiry.

She has denied the allegations and in correspondence said she was saddened they had been made by colleagues.

In correspondence with the inquiry, she also indicated she was in Lusaka in Zambia waiting for the processing of a travel visa by the authorities in Dublin to attend the inquiry.

She said she was no longer a resident in Ireland and had been unable to sustain herself financially.

The inquiry has heard that Ms Musonda said she did not wish to participate in the inquiry remotely.

The inquiry was adjourned previously on a number of occasions to facilitate Ms Musonda but today’s starting date was set as final.

The inquiry has heard Ms Musonda qualified in 2006 and worked in Zambia and Botswana. She was registered here in 2016.

The inquiry is to hear witness evidence from seven radiographers and expert witness and is due to last three days.

Louise Diamond, radiography services manager at University Hospital Waterford, told the inquiry she reported the matter to CORU, as she had concerns for patient safety.

Based on Ms Musonda’s 11 years of experience, she expected her to be competent and operate independently and not require supervision.

She also said she wanted to uphold the standards of the profession.