Ms Vivien McQueen

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: SW77434

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 09:00 30/04/2018 End: 16:00 30/04/2018

Location: Health and Care Professions Council, 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Voluntary Removal agreed

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Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Social Worker with South Gloucestershire Council, you:

1. did not carry out statutory visits within the required timescales in respect of:

(a) service user A

(b) service user B

(c) service user C

(d) service user D

(e) service user E

2. did not produce a pathway plan within statutory timescales

(a) service user A

(b) service user B

(c) service user C

(d) service user D

(e) service user E

3. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 2 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

4. By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service

1. The Panel was aware that written Notice of these proceedings was posted to the Registrant at her registered address by first class post on 14 February 2018. It was also emailed to her registered email address on the same date. The Panel determined that Notice of this hearing had been properly served in accordance with the relevant Rules.

Proceeding in absence

2. The Panel heard the submission of Ms Wills to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. It accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and paid due regard to the HCPTS Practice Note on “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”.

3. The Panel noted that the documentation in this case demonstrates that the Registrant has engaged in this process and it heard from the Presenting Officer that there was no communication from the Registrant as to her attendance at this hearing. She has made no application for an adjournment. The Panel’s view is that it is in the interests of the public and of the Registrant herself that Ms Wills’ submission to proceed in the absence of the Registrant should be granted.

Background

4. The Registrant commenced employment with South Gloucestershire Council (the Council) in 1992. In May 2015, whilst she was working as a children’s Social Worker, concerns were raised at the Council in regards to a number of performance failures by the Registrant, most notably a continued failure to produce Pathway Plans and undertake statutory visits within the required timescales.

5. Between May 2015 and October 2016, the Registrant’s performance was managed on both an informal and formal basis. This included a written warning and a performance management plan. However, the Registrant’s performance did not improve to the required standard.

6. Following an Employee Performance Hearing on 13 December 2016, the Registrant was dismissed from her employment at the Council with effect from 14 December 2016, on the grounds of lack of capability.

7. The Council referred the matter to the HCPC on 21 December 2016.

8. On 14 June 2017, a Panel of the Investigating Committee determined that there was a case to answer in respect of the allegation against the Registrant.

9. Following the Investigating Committee decision, the HCPC reviewed the case and considered the circumstances suitable for disposal by way of a Voluntary Removal Agreement, as the Registrant had indicated previously that she did not intend to return to practice as a Social Worker. The Registrant was therefore asked to confirm her position in respect of disposing of her case by means of a voluntary removal.

10. The Registrant telephoned the HCPC on 29 August 2017 to confirm that she wished to proceed with the voluntary removal process and did not contest the allegation. This was confirmed in writing by the Registrant by way of an email sent on the same day, 29 August 2017. The Registrant subsequently signed the Voluntary Removal Agreement on 19 March 2018, and Schedule B to the Agreement on 22 March 2018.

Decision

11. The Panel considered with care all the documentation in this case and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. In so doing, the Panel interpreted the Registrant’s acceptance of the allegation as an admission that her failures were attributable to a lack of competence.

12. The Panel is aware that the overarching statutory objective of the HCPC is to protect the public and that it can only resolve a case such as this by consent if it is satisfied that:

• the appropriate level of public protection would be secured; and

• doing so would not be detrimental to the wider public interest.

13. In accordance with the contents of the HCPTS Practice Note on “Disposal of Cases by Consent”, the Panel satisfied itself that the HCPC, in its presentation of this application, has provided a clear, appropriately detailed, and objective justification for its application. Furthermore, the Panel is satisfied that the Registrant was made aware that co-operation and participation in the consent process would not automatically lead to approval by this Panel.

14. The Panel is also satisfied that the papers in this case show that the Registrant was provided with opportunities to understand the implications of this process and that, in providing her consent to this application, she was made aware of what that meant.

15. In all the above circumstances, the Panel has determined that this unopposed application should be granted.

Order

The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Ms Vivien McQueen from the Register with immediate effect.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Ms Vivien McQueen

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
30/04/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed