The following allegation was put before a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee at the substantive hearing on 15 – 17 October 2013.
During the course of your employment as a Social Worker with Nottinghamshire County Council between June 2003 and November 2011, you:
1. Did not recognise risk, which placed service users at risk of harm;
2. Did not carry out timely Section 47 (child protection) enquiries;
3. Did not keep child protection records up to date;
4. Did not attend scheduled child protection meetings;
5. Did not follow up concerns raised by a school about service users' welfare;
6. not proved
7. Did not provide minutes of child protection meetings to families;
8. The matters described in paragraphs 1 - 7 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence;
9. By reason of that misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.
The Panel at the substantive hearing on 15 – 17 October 2013 found particulars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (in respect of one school) & 7 proved.
Particular 6 was not found proved.
The Panel found the proved particulars amounted to misconduct and found the registrant’s fitness to practise impaired. That Panel imposed a suspension order for a period of 12 months.
1. Mr Byrne made an unopposed application to hear evidence in private in relation to the registrant’s health, in accordance with the provisions of rule 10(1)(a) of the Conduct & Competence Procedure Rules. The Panel regarded it as entirely appropriate to grant this application.
2. The registrant started work as a Social Worker with Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) in 2003. There were concerns about her practice and, consequently, an audit of her cases was undertaken in October 2009 and a number of issues of concern were identified.
3. The registrant had a prolonged period of sickness absence from December 2009 until June 2010. In October 2010 it was recognized that the registrant needed support to improve her practice and an Advanced Social Work Practitioner was assigned to mentor her.
4. A further audit was carried out in October 2010 which indicated a lack of documentary evidence to show that the registrant had progressed plans. It also found there were failures by her to visit service users, that she demonstrated a lack of understanding about the issues of concern and that she had failed to keep agencies updated with relevant information. She was dismissed from her employment, following a disciplinary procedure, on 30 May 2012.
5. The Panel heard the submissions of Mr Byrne who did not recommend a particular course of action today and listened with care to what the registrant said from the witness box. The Panel’s interpretation of her evidence was that she wanted to return to her profession as a Social Worker but recognized that she would require help in so doing.
6. The registrant has not practised as a Social Worker since March 2012. The first Panel, on 17 October 2013, recommended that the registrant produce evidence of reflective practice, particularly in relation to recognizing and assessing when service users are at risk and the need for appropriate action to address that risk.
7. Although this Panel is happy to hear that the registrant is now engaging with the HCPC regulatory process and that her recognized health problems are being treated and that her overall health has therefore improved, it remains of the view that her fitness to practise is still impaired. She has shown limited insight into the impact of the failings in her practice that were found proved by the original Panel. She appears to be primarily concerned about managing her own workload and how it can be improved rather than acknowledging the impact that her past failings could have had upon service users and their families. This Panel has received no written evidence of her reflection in relation to these failings nor been provided with a coherent plan as to how she proposes to address them.
8. The Panel is well aware that the primary function of any sanction is to address public safety from the perspective of the risk the registrant may pose to those using her services in future. In reaching its decision the Panel must also give appropriate weight to the wider public interest considerations, which include the reputation of the profession and public confidence in the regulatory process. The Panel has considered the sanctions available to it in ascending order of severity and had regard to the indicative sanction policy.
9. Consistent with the registrant’s own submission as to its aptness, the Panel started by considering a Conditions of Practice Order. Although the Panel’s view, like that advanced by the previous Panel, is that the registrant’s failings are remediable, it has in fact seen no compelling evidence of remediation. It considers that the verbal testimony by the registrant heard today did not go to the heart of the identified problems. In all the circumstances, the Panel has concluded that a Conditions of Practice Order would not be appropriate as it would not adequately protect the public.
10. On the other hand, a continuation of the current suspension order would be appropriate and proportionate both in protecting the public and in addressing the wider public interest considerations. In so determining that this order should be extended for a further 12 months, the Panel considers that a future Panel would be assisted by written evidence to the effect that the registrant has properly reflected upon her failings, fully recognises them and appreciates a need for appropriate action to be taken to address problems that arise when service users are at risk. A future Panel may be further assisted by written evidence from the registrant of the steps she has taken to update her professional skills and knowledge. This may include assessing risk to service users, record keeping and working alongside other agencies.
11. The option remains open to the registrant to seek an early review of this order if she feels she can demonstrate the necessary remediation.
The suspension will now expire on 14 November 2015.
History of Hearings for Jeanette Reeve
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|16/10/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Conditions of Practice|
|14/10/2016||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Conditions of Practice|
|15/10/2015||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|27/10/2014||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|15/10/2013||Conduct and Competence Committee||Final Hearing||Suspended|