Mrs Julia Wise-St Leger

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: SW71495

Hearing Type: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 13/12/2018 End: 17:00 21/12/2018

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Struck off

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Allegation

Allegation

The following allegation was considered by a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee at a Substantive Hearing on 17 – 21 December 2018.

Whilst employed at States of Jersey Council between 14 October 2014 and 11 May 2016, you;

1.Engaged in harassing and bullying behaviour towards colleagues in that you:

a)Unfairly and persistently criticised colleagues; and/or

b)Made ridiculing and demeaning remarks to colleagues; and/or

c)Singled out colleague 3; and/or

d)Repeatedly shouted at colleagues; and/or

e)Attempted to destroy relationships between colleagues.
 
2.Your actions at paragraph 1a – 1e constitute misconduct

3.By reason of your misconduct, your fitness to practise is impaired.

 

 


 

 

 

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service

1.HCPC was represented by Ms Laura Ryan of Kingsley Napley Solicitors. The Registrant was not present and was not represented. The Panel was informed that notice of this hearing was sent to the Registrant dated 10 October 2018. The Panel was satisfied that the notice of hearing had been sent to the correct address and that it contained the required information regarding the date, venue and time of the hearing. The Panel was content that notice of this hearing had been served in accordance with the rules.

2.Ms Ryan applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. Ms Ryan informed the Panel of the steps taken by Kingsley Napley to contact the Registrant. The first letter sent by the HCPC to the Registrant informing her of the allegations is dated 8 February 2018 which was followed up by an email dated 2 March 2018. On 21 March 2018, a further letter was sent to the Registrant asking her to verify her email address. A tracing agent was instructed who reported on 16 July 2018 that the Registrant was not at her registered address.

3.Ms Ryan informed the Panel that the hearing bundle was returned to the HCPC undelivered on 29 October 2018. The tracing agent managed to locate the Registrant at a different address on 1 November 2018, whereupon HCPC sent a letter to that address and also sent a further email to the Registrant dated 14 November 2018.

4.The Panel was satisfied that HCPC had taken all reasonable steps to notify the Registrant about this hearing. The Panel considered that the Registrant was aware of the hearing, given that notice and letters were also sent by emails which had not been returned as being undelivered. The Panel was satisfied that the Registrant had voluntarily absented herself. The Panel considered that no useful purpose would be served by adjourning this hearing, which was listed for 6 days with witnesses scheduled to attend in person and by video link. For these reasons, the Panel determined to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.

Application to amend the Particulars of Allegation

5.Ms Ryan applied to amend the Particulars of the Allegation in the manner set out in a letter sent to the Registrant dated 9 May 2018. Ms Ryan submitted that the proposed amendments were necessary to particularise the allegation of engaging in harassing and bullying behaviour.

6.The Panel was satisfied that no prejudice would be caused by the proposed amendments and granted the application.

Background:

7.The Registrant was employed between the late summer of 2014 and May 2016 by the States of Jersey (“SOJ”), as Head of Service of the Children’s Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Division on an interim contract. During that period the Registrant managed several Team Managers, Senior Practitioners and Social Workers all of whom worked within that division.

8.In November 2015, a number of staff members made complaints about the Registrant’s behaviour towards them to the Director of Children’s Services for SOJ who initiated an investigation. Ten witnesses were interviewed in the course of the investigation. The complaints concerned the Registrant’s alleged bullying and harassment of her colleagues throughout her employment with SOJ.

Order

The Panel decided to hand down a Strike Off Order.
  
An Interim Suspension Order was also imposed to cover the appeal period.

Notes

No notes available

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mrs Julia Wise-St Leger

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
13/12/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off