Ms Daslie Campbell

Profession: Social worker

Registration Number: SW74281

Hearing Type: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 07/02/2019 End: 17:00 07/02/2019

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

Panel: Conduct and Competence Committee
Outcome: Suspended

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Allegation

Whilst registered as a Social Worker and employed with Bournemouth Borough Council, you:

1. In relation to Child A:
a. Did not record in a timely manner your visits to Child A on or around;
i. 22 May 2015;
ii. 30 October 2015;
iii. 17 December 2015;
iv. 16 March 2016.
b. Completed statutory visits to Child A, that were overdue, on or around:
i. 30 October 2015;
ii. 16 March 2016.
c. On or about 16 March 2016, did not record an adequate and / or comprehensive progress note of information received regarding an allegation by Child A against a carer.

2. In relation to Child B:
a. Completed statutory visits to Child B, that were overdue, on or around:
i. 24 July 2015;
ii. 6 October 2015;
iii. 11 April 2016.
b. Did not record in a timely manner your visits to Child B on or around;
i. 18 February 2015;
ii. 11 April 2016.
 
3. In relation to Child C:

a. Did not record in a timely manner your visits to Child C on or around;
i. 17 March 2016;
ii. 25 April 2016.
b. Not Proved.

4. In relation to Child D:
a. Completed statutory visits to Child D, that were overdue, on or around:
i. 19 June 2015;
ii. 18 December 2015;
iii. 20 January 2016;
iv. 1 June 2016.
b. Did not record in a timely manner your visits to Child D on or around;
i. Not proved;
ii. 18 December 2015;
iii. 20 January 2016.
c. Not proved.

5. In relation to Child E:
a. Did not record in a timely manner your visits to Child E on or around:
i. 4 March 2015;
ii. 15 April 2015;
iii. Not proved;
iv. 07 August 2015;
v. 10 February 2016;
vi. 14 April 2016.
b. Completed statutory visits to Child E, that were overdue, on or around:
i. Not proved;
ii. Not proved;
iii. 10 February 2016.
c. Did not follow management instruction given on or about 4 September 2015 to visit Child E by 16 October 2015.

6. In relation to Child F:
a. Did not record in a timely manner your visits to Child F on or around:
i. 27 January 2016;
ii. 22 February 2016
b. Completed statutory visits to Child F, that were overdue, on or around:
i. 27 January 2016;
ii. Not proved.

7. In relation to Child G:
a. Did not record in a timely manner your visits to Child G on or around:
i. 11 February 2016;
ii. 17 February 2016.
b. Not proved.

8. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 7 constitute misconduct and or lack of competence.

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

Facts Proved: 1(a)(i – iv), 1(b)(i – ii), 1(c), 2(a)(i – ii), 2(b)(i – ii), 3(a)(i – ii), 4(a)(i
– iv), 4(b)(i – ii), 5(a)(i - ii), 5(a)(iv – vi), 5(b)(i), 5(c), 6(a)(i – ii), 6(b)(i), and 7(a)(i – ii).
Facts Not Proved: 3(b), 4(b)(i), 4(c), 5(a)(iii), 5(b)(i – ii), 6(b)(ii), and 7(b).
Grounds: Misconduct
Fitness to Practise Impaired: Yes
Sanction: Suspension Order (6 Months)

Finding

Preliminary Matters
Service of Notice
1. The Panel found that there had been good service of the Notice of Hearing by a letter dated 10 January 2019 which informed the Registrant of the date, time, and venue of the hearing.

Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant
2. Ms Simpson made an application for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. She referred the Panel to written representations provided by the Registrant stating that she would be unable to attend the hearing due to ill health. In response to this document an HCPC Case Manager spoke to the Registrant on 6 February 2019. The Registrant was advised of her options of participating in the hearing by telephone, submitting further written representations or requesting an adjournment. The Registrant response was that she did not feel able to attend the hearing or any hearing in the future because she did not feel strong enough to do so. She confirmed her position in writing.

3. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and had regard to the guidance in the HCPTS Practice Note “Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant”.

4. The Panel noted the circumstances of the Registrant’s absence and her clear indication that she did not wish to attend any hearing. The Registrant is aware of the hearing and the options available to her have been clearly explained. The Panel concluded that she has waived her right to attend the hearing. There was a strong public interest in this mandatory review being heard without delay. The Panel therefore decided to proceed with the hearing in the Registrant’s absence.

Hearing in private
5. The Panel decided that it was appropriate to hear part of the case in private to protect the Registrant’s private life. This decision was limited to the details relating to the Registrant’s health.
Background
6. The Registrant was a Social Worker employed by Bournemouth Borough Council within the Looked After Children team. On 13-16 August 2018 a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee decided that over a period of time from March 2015 to June 2016 the Registrant had failed to maintain adequate and timely records of her visits to children, failed to carry out visits to children within the statutory timescales and failed to comply with management instructions. The facts found proved constituted misconduct and the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired. There was insufficient evidence that the Registrant fully appreciated the overall gravity and potential consequences of her misconduct and the Panel was not assured that the misconduct would not be repeated.
7. The Registrant did not attend, but she submitted written representations which were considered by the Final Hearing Panel. That Panel recognised that the Registrant’s work environment appeared to be challenging and that the Registrant was dealing with personal issues relating to her own health and that of family members. 
8. The Final Hearing Panel decided that the appropriate and proportionate sanction was a Suspension Order for a period of six months. The Registrant was advised that the Suspension Order would be reviewed and that she could present evidence as to how she had developed and reflected on the areas of concern found in relation to the allegation. This might include undertaking training and/or maintaining a reflective portfolio and/or receiving support from a mentor.
Decision
9. Ms Simpson submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practice remained impaired and invited the Panel to consider an extension of the Suspension Order or a Striking Off Order.
10. The Panel considered with care the Registrant’s written submissions. She stated that she has taken time to reflect on the allegations. She expressed her remorse, but also referred back to her previous submissions detailing the pressured environment she was working in during the period of the allegation. She stated that she is currently unemployed and has not been in a working environment which would assist with training around record keeping. She added that she was prepared to pursue relevant courses to update her practice.
11. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and in reaching its decisions referred to the HCPTS
12. The Panel first considered the issue of current impairment. The Panel took account of the principle set out in Abrahaem v GMC [2008] EWHC 183 (Admin) that there is, in practical terms, a persuasive burden at a review hearing for the Registrant to demonstrate that he has “fully acknowledged why past performance was deficient and through insight, application, education, supervision or other achievement sufficiently addressed the past impairments.
13. In the Panel’s view the information provided by the Registrant is very limited. There is no evidence of remediation and little evidence that during her reflection over the last six months the Registrant’s level of insight has significantly changed. There was nothing tangible to persuade the Panel that the Registrant has addressed the deficiencies identified by the Final Hearing Panel, or that the risk of repetition has significantly decreased. The Panel therefore decided that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired.
14. The Panel next considered the appropriate sanction, bearing in mind that the purpose of a sanction is to protect the public and the wider public interest. The Panel applied the principle of proportionality.
15. The Panel first considered the option of a Caution Order, but decided that it would be insufficient to protect the public because there is an ongoing risk of repetition of misconduct.
16. The Panel next considered a Conditions of Practice Order. The Panel decided that conditions are not currently workable or appropriate. Although the misconduct in this case is remediable, there was nothing which indicated that the Registrant was able or willing to engage with conditions of practice. Currently she has not demonstrated a sufficient level of insight. The health matters described by the Registrant indicate that she is not currently able to comply with conditions and conditions would require commitment by the Registrant to engage with the HCPC.
17. The Panel next considered the more restrictive options of a Suspension Order or a Striking-Off Order. The Panel noted that the Registrant is currently unwell. She has not provided details of her ill-health. However, she states that she has “been unable to complete a full response as I would have liked for today’s hearing”. It is therefore clear that the Registrant herself appreciates that the information and evidence she has provided is limited. The Panel decided that it would not be appropriate or proportionate to make a Striking-Off Order. It would be fair to give the Registrant a further opportunity to present evidence to a Review Panel.
18. An extension of the current Suspension Order would provide sufficient protection for the public because the Registrant’s misconduct could not be repeated.
19. The Panel decided that the appropriate length of the Suspension Order is six months. This would be sufficient time for the Registrant to consider whether and how she wishes to engage with the HCPC and to prepare evidence for a Review Hearing.
20. The Panel would encourage the Registrant to attend the Review Hearing either in person or by telephone. If she attends the hearing in person she may bring a friend with her to support her. The Panel recognises that regulatory proceedings can be extremely difficult for Registrants, but wishes to remind the Registrant that Panels are committed to undertaking an independent and a fair review. The purpose of a review is to monitor the steps taken by a Registrant towards a return to practice when that is safe and appropriate.
21. The Suspension Order will be reviewed before it expires. A future review panel may be assisted by the following evidence or information:
(a) any steps the Registrant has taken to support her own return to practice;
(b) if the Registrant has undertaken any paid or voluntary work, references or testimonials including comments on the standard of the Registrant’s work in relation to record keeping and attendance at appointments;
(c) evidence that the Registrant has kept her knowledge and skills up to date by reading or attending courses;
(d) a reflective statement focusing on the deficiencies identified by the Final Hearing Panel, the impact on service users, and how she would avoid similar events in the future

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to extend the Suspension Order for a further period of six months from the expiry of the current Order.

Notes

This Order will be reviewed before the expiry date of 16 September 2019.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Ms Daslie Campbell

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
07/02/2019 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
13/08/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended