Ms Marie Esther Nolan
During your employment as a Social Worker for Hampshire County Council you: 1. Failed to undertake and/or adequately record the required number of Child Protection visits and/or statutory visits in relation to the following cases: a) Family 1 b) Family 2 c) Family 3 d) Family 4 e) Family 5 f) Family 6 g) Family 7 h) Family 8 i) Family 9 j) Family 10 k) Family 11 l) Family 12 2. Failed to maintain adequate records in that you did not make any entries on the ICS/SWIFT system: a) For i. Family 7 ii. Family 8 iii. Family 11 b) For more than 6 months in relation to the following cases: i. Family 4 ii. Family 9 3. Did not conduct risk assessments and/or core assessments as required in relation to the following cases: a) Family 1 in relation to whether the children were safe in their parents care; b) Family 4 c) Family 5 in relation to the child returning to their parents’ care; d) Family 10 in relation to: i. The care arrangements in place; ii. The mother’s new partner. 4. Failed to act on potential risk in that, in relation to Family 10, you did not: a) b) 5. You did not carry out the required case actions for Family 11 between 8 May 2012 and 8 August 2012. 6. Did not complete documents for court hearings in the requested timescales in that: a) In relation to Family 3 you did not complete: i. The Section 7 report by 20 February or 21 March 2012; ii. The Addendum report by 18 May 2012. b) In relation to Family 7 you did not complete the 7. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 6 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence. 8. By reason of that misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.
Allegation (as amended):
more than around 3 months in relation to the following cases: in relation to an incident involving alcohol and drugs where the child was present at the address; i. Refer concerns about the mother’s drug use to the drug agency ii. Follow up on an assault allegedly perpetrated by the mother on another adult at a school. b) In relation to Family 12, you were made aware of an allegation of a physical assault on a child by his mother and step father but did not raise this with an appropriate manager. Interim Care Plans by 27 January 6 August 2012.
During your employment as a Social Worker for Hampshire County Council you:
1. Failed to undertake and/or adequately record the required number of Child
Protection visits and/or statutory visits in relation to the following cases:
a) Family 1
b) Family 2
c) Family 3
d) Family 4
e) Family 5
f) Family 6
g) Family 7
h) Family 8
i) Family 9
j) Family 10
k) Family 11
l) Family 12
2. Failed to maintain adequate records in that you did not make any entries on the ICS/SWIFT system:
i. Family 7
ii. Family 8
iii. Family 11
b) For more than 6 months in relation to the following cases:
i. Family 4
ii. Family 9
3. Did not conduct risk assessments and/or core assessments as required in relation to the following cases:
a) Family 1 in relation to whether the children were safe in their parents care;
b) Family 4
c) Family 5 in relation to the child returning to their parents’ care;
d) Family 10 in relation to:
i. The care arrangements in place;
ii. The mother’s new partner.
4. Failed to act on potential risk in that, in relation to Family 10, you did not:
5. You did not carry out the required case actions for Family 11 between 8
May 2012 and 8 August 2012.
6. Did not complete documents for court hearings in the requested timescales in that:
a) In relation to Family 3 you did not complete:
i. The Section 7 report by 20 February or 21 March 2012;
ii. The Addendum report by 18 May 2012.
b) In relation to Family 7 you did not complete the
7. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 6 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.
8. By reason of that misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.
1. Ms Nolan (the Registrant) was informed of today’s hearing, by notice dated 4 March 2015 sent to her registered address. On 5 June 2015 the Registrant spoke to the HCPC case manager by telephone suggesting she may wish to seek another adjournment of the final hearing. However the Registrant attended the first day of the hearing in person and has fully participated in the hearing on subsequent days by telephone, due to childcare commitments. The Panel was satisfied that it was appropriate and in the interests of justice to proceed with the hearing in these circumstances.
2. The HCPC applied at the commencement of the hearing for leave to amend the particulars to clarify the HCPC’s case, as set out above. There is no prejudice to the Registrant and she has not objected to the application. The Panel therefore granted the amendment application.
3. The HCPC Practice Note entitled Conducting Hearings in Private states there are two broad circumstances in which all or part of a hearing may be held in private: where it is in the interests of justice to do so; or where it is done in order to protect the private life of the person who is the subject of the allegation. A decision to sit in private may relate to all or part of a hearing. The Panel decided that this hearing should be conducted partly in private, to protect the private life of the Registrant and her family.
4. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor to adopt the civil standard of proof, namely the balance of probability, in respect of the factual particulars. The burden of proof is upon the HCPC as to the facts. The Panel adopted a three stage approach to decide: which of the facts are proved, whether or not the facts proved amount to the grounds of misconduct and/or lack of competence and if misconduct and/or lack of competence is established, whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired.
5. The Registrant is a registered Social Worker. She began working for Hampshire County Council (HCC) as a family support worker in 2003 and in 2007 was employed in the Test Valley Children in Need Team as a full time qualified Social Worker. She had responsibility for child protection risk assessments of children aged 0 to 18, at the dates in question. The HCPC allegations relate to her management of cases allocated to her and issues with record keeping and failing to complete risk assessments and other reports. The Registrant had previously had a number of difficulties with her social work practice and had been placed under a performance management process in March 2010 by her manager, MS. He states that the process progressed to stage 2 but by November 2010, he considered that there had been an improvement in the Registrant’s practice and she was working to the standards expected of her. However, this improvement was not sustained and the Registrant was placed back on the performance improvement process, in March 2012. MS completed an audit of the Registrant’s cases in May 2012. SH took over as the Registrant’s manager in July 2012. SH identified a number of issues in the Registrant’s practice, particularly in relation to not completing child protection statutory visits and/or not adding notes onto the electronic records system. SH conducted a second audit of the Registrant’s caseload in August 2012. Investigatory interviews were held and following a Stage 3 Managing Unacceptable Performance hearing the Registrant was dismissed by HCC, with effect from 8 November 2013.
Decision on Facts:
6. The Panel heard oral evidence from SH (Service Manager) and MS (Team Manager), in relation to the alleged deficiencies in the Registrant’s practice. The Panel found the witnesses called on behalf of the HCPC gave straight forward factual evidence. Accordingly the Panel regarded these witnesses as entirely reliable, with access to detailed and reliable records to support their evidence based upon separate independent audits of the Registrant’s work. They were both supportive of the Registrant and MS, who had managed her for a number of years, spoke positively about the work and sound skills of the Registrant, in face to face contact with other professionals, children and families. Her failings were primarily in case recording and time and workload management.
7. The Registrant gave evidence to the Panel by telephone based upon her memory of events at that time which she acknowledged was adversely affected by personal health and stress. The Panel accepted that the Registrant did her best to recall matters as accurately as she could but in view of the admitted fallibility of her memory did not consider her recollection could be relied upon where it was not supported by the records or case notes.
8. The Panel read documentary evidence consisting of an HCPC bundle of witness statements and exhibits, including character references and a statement produced by the Registrant during the HCC Performance Management process. The reliability of all this material was not challenged. The Panel had regard to all of the evidence from both parties.
9. During the period of October 2011 to August 2012 the Registrant was responsible for a reduced case load which included the12 families referred to in the HCPC allegations. She was required to record work she carried out and to make use of the Swift/ICS electronic case management systems. The Panel makes the following findings of fact for each family, in relation to the alleged factual particulars:
(a) Family 1 (particulars 1a and 3a), the Registrant had responsibility for this case from: 26 January to 14 August 2012. Child Protection visits were due every 10 working days therefore there should have been 14 visits during the 6.5 months of the Registrant’s involvement. Of the 10 visits recorded only one of them was recorded appropriately. The records of most of the visits were created by an administrator and did not identify the social worker concerned. The Registrant did not conduct the required number of visits with Family 1. Those visits that she did conduct were not recorded adequately and within one month of another social worker taking over the case, the children were removed from the care of their parents due to the level of risk. The Registrant failed to ensure that the children were properly safeguarded, by the completion of the required risk assessments in relation to the parents’ care of their children.
(b) Family 2 (particular 1b), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from: 23 January to 14 August 2012 (just under 7 months). Child Protection visits were due every 10 working days therefore there should have been 14 visits while the Registrant was in charge of the case. Only 8 visits were recorded over a six month period. The notes which were inputted by an administrator do not provide an adequate record of the visits. The visits are not attributed to a social worker in the notes and for many visits there were no details added to the case management system. Some of the recorded contacts with the children took place at school, and not at home. The Registrant was given clear instructions, in supervision sessions with MS and SH, to conduct regular Child Protection home visits but there is no record that she did so.
(c) Family 3 (particulars 1c, 6ai and 6aii), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 21 December 2011 to 14 August 2012 (just under 8 months). Child in Need visits were required at least every 4 weeks. The Registrant did not record having conducted any visits during the 8 months that she was the allocated social worker and no such visits were recorded by any other social worker. The Registrant did not complete documents for court hearings or proceedings within the required timescales. The Court ordered a Section 7 report was to be filed by 20 February 2012 and this was the Registrant’s responsibility. The report was not filed by the due date and had not been completed at the time of a supervision session with MS on 21 March 2012. The Court ordered an addendum report to be filed by 18 May 2012. This report was also not filed on time. The Registrant eventually filed the report late.
(d) Family 4 (particulars 1d, 2bi and 3b), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 26 October 2011 to 14 August 2012 (just under 10 months). Child in Need visits were required at least every 4 weeks. A case note dated 3 November 2011 shows that the Registrant conducted an initial visit but the case note did not confirm the details of the visit. A further contact with the mother and child was recorded on 15 November 2011. After that date there is no record that the Registrant saw Child 4 for the Child in Need visits. The lack of recording by the Registrant is demonstrated by an absence of any record on Swift/ICS between 15 November 2011 and 30 July 2012, a period of approximately 8.5 months. Family members and other professionals were trying to contact the Registrant without success. The clear instructions given to the Registrant by SH were not carried out. A significant safeguarding concern arose on 27 July 2012. The Out of Hours service lacked the required information from the ICS system to make informed decisions as to the safety of the child. There was no record that a subsequent management instruction to the Registrant to visit the family and conduct a full assessment with reference to risk was carried out.
(e) Family 5 (particulars 1e and 3c), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 8 December 2011 to 14 August 2012 (8 months). Child protection visits were required every 10 working days. Seven case entries indicate that visits were conducted, but the notes do not show any details about these visits on 6 January, 8 March, 20 March, 18 April, 1 May, 15 May and 29 May 2012. The notes could not be attributed to a social worker, as they had been made by an administrator. Only three of the visits were adequately recorded. A serious police investigation resulted in Child 5 going to live with her maternal grandmother but she later returned to her parents. There is no detail in the case notes about this police investigation and a risk assessment was not conducted, to assess whether risks still existed when the child returned to her parents. The required risk assessment was the responsibility of the Registrant as the allocated social worker.
(f) Family 6 (particular 1f), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 7 March 2012 to 14 August 2012 (5 months). Child protection visits were required every 10 working days which equates to 10 visits whilst the Registrant was the allocated social worker. There are notes of visits dated: 22 March, 11 April, 25 April, 8 May, 1 June, 7 June, 26 June and 9 July 2012. Only one of the records was made by the Registrant herself. The notes are not adequate, often stating that details are to follow but which were subsequently not provided.
(g) Family 7 (particulars 1g, 2ai and 6b), the Registrant had responsibility for the case: from January 2012 to August 2012 (7 months). The Children were subject to Child Protection Plans and made Looked After Children; therefore Child Looked After and Child Protection visits were required fortnightly. The Registrant saw the children once during the seven months in which she was the allocated social worker according to the records. The Registrant made only one entry in the Swift/ICS case notes, on 12 January 2012. The Registrant was told that final Court documentation needed to be provided to SH for checking, no later than 6 August 2012. The documents had to be filed at Court a week later. The Registrant emailed a draft copy to SH on 3 August 2012 at 18:00. The email stated: “Not completed to point to send to Court”. The Registrant then went on annual leave which necessitated an application to the Court to extend the time. Further discussions took place between SH and the Registrant on 13 and 14 August 2012 which resulted in SH trying to complete the documentation but the notes made by the Registrant were not adequate.
(h) Family 8 (particulars 1h and 2aii), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 3 November 2011 to 20 August 2012 (9 months). The Child was subject to a Child Protection Plan and later a Child in Need Plan. Child Protection visits were required every 10 working days and Child in Need visits at least every 4 weeks. The plans were changed on 11 April 2012. Visits that should have been conducted by the Registrant were not recorded. Two adequate records of visits were made but none of the entries in the case notes were made by the Registrant. There is no record of Child in Need visits being conducted on Swift/ICS between 23 April and 15 July 2012. This was described by SH in a supervision note as being “completely unacceptable”. The absence of notes led to serious safeguarding concerns in relation to Child 8. Key events did not result in action being taken by the Registrant, including: indications of increased drug taking by Child 8’s mother, a change of accommodation and Child 8’s mother receiving a prison sentence.
(i) Family 9 (particulars 1i and 2bii), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 1 December 2011 to 20 August 2012 (8.5 months). The Child was subject to a Child Protection Plan and later a Child in Need Plan. Child Protection visits were required every 10 working days and Child in Need visits at least every 4 weeks. The plans changed on 5 January 2012. The visits undertaken by the Registrant were not adequately recorded, in relation to visits on 1 December, 19 December and 29 December 2011. Only the first visit stated that the child had been seen and even then the records do not state who saw the child. No other visits are recorded on Swift/ICS, despite the Registrant being the allocated social worker until August 2012.
(j) Family 10 (particulars 1j, 3di, 3dii, 4a and 4b), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 16 April 2012 to 20 August 2012 (4 months). The Children were subject to a Child in Need Plan, and Child in Need visits were required at least every 4 weeks. There is no record that the Registrant ever carried out a visit or saw the children. A note dated 18 April 2012 instructed the Registrant to get an update from the drugs agency as to the mother’s involvement. This mother had disclosed significant cocaine use but there is no evidence that the Registrant took action. On 4 May 2012 there was a report of the mother assaulting an adult at the children’s school. It was alleged that one of the children was present during the assault. The Registrant took no action in relation to these potential risks. A case note dated 13 June 2012, refers to a drugs agency report that the mother was in a relationship with a 25 year old male and was attending raves. The Registrant should have conducted a risk assessment, in relation to the child care arrangements and the involvement of a new partner but no such assessment was recorded.
(k) Family 11 (particulars 1k, 2aiii and 5), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 16 May 2012 to 20 August 2012 (3 months). The Children were subject to a Child in Need Plan as they were hearing impaired and Child in Need visits were required at least every 4 weeks. The management entry dated 1 June 2012 records that on 16 May 2012 the Registrant was told to make contact with the family. A telephone note dated 4 July 2012 requested that the Registrant return a call from AC, but this was not done. It is clear that the Registrant did not carry out the required case actions or maintain adequate Swift/ICS records for this case.
(l) Family 12 (particular 1l), the Registrant had responsibility for the case from 16 May to 20 August 2012 (3 months). The Child was subject to a Child Protection Plan and Child Protection visits were required every 10 working days. The case notes do not show that the Registrant undertook the necessary visits. Therefore either the visits were not undertaken or were not recorded.
10. The Panel took into account that the Registrant has made some admissions in relation to the factual particulars and accepted that her record keeping was inadequate. It also noted that she claimed to recall having created some documents which then do not appear to be in the records. She accepted that she had no memory of any involvement with families 11 or 12. The Panel took into account the Registrant’s assertions that she did carry out many of the required visits but failed to record them. It accepts that there may be a few occasions when that happened but finds that the majority of the “missing” visits simply did not take place.
11. Accordingly the following Particulars are proved by the oral and documentary evidence adduced by the HCPC: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f, 1g, 1h, 1i, 1j, 1k, 1l, 2ai, 2aii, 2aiii, 2bi, 2bii, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3di, 3dii, 4a, 4b, 5, 6ai, 6aii, 6b.
Decision on Grounds:
12. It was clear to the Panel that the Registrant had the knowledge, skills and judgement to practise as a social worker at an acceptable level as she had done so for a number of years and had successfully overcome earlier concerns about her capability. In the Panel’s view the Registrant’s failings in this case arose not from a lack of knowledge, skills or judgement but from a failure consistently to apply them to her work. Accordingly the Panel does not consider that the facts found proved constitute a lack of competence. They do, however, amount to misconduct.
13. The failures identified involve breaches of the following provisions of the applicable Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers;
As a social care worker, you must respect the rights of service users while seeking to ensure that their behavior does not harm themselves or other people. This includes: 4.2 Following risk assessment policies and procedures to assess whether the behaviour of service users presents a risk of harm to themselves or others;
4.3 Taking necessary steps to minimize the risks of service users from doing actual or potential harm to themselves or other people; and
4.4 Ensuring that relevant colleagues and agencies are informed about the outcomes and implications of risk assessments.
As a social care worker, you must be accountable for the quality of your work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving your knowledge and skills.
This Includes: 6.1 Meeting relevant standards of practice and working in a lawful, safe and effective way;
6.2 Maintaining clear and accurate records as required by procedures established for your work…
6.6 Recognising that you remain responsible for the work that you have delegated to other workers.
14. These failings were serious in that they occurred over a significant period of time, involved a significant number of cases and a significant number of failings in many of those cases. Moreover, the failures involved were serious matters which carried potentially serious risks for some very vulnerable service users. Accordingly the Panel considers that the factual particulars found proved do constitute misconduct.
Decision on Impairment:
15. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor to consider the HCPC Practice Note on Finding that Fitness to Practice is Impaired. The Panel has considered the HCPC Practice Note entitled “Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired”.
16. In determining whether fitness to practise is impaired, Panels must take account of a range of issues which, in essence, comprise two components:
1. the ‘personal’ component: the current competence, behaviour etc. of the
individual registrant; and
2. the ‘public’ component: the need to protect service users, declare and
uphold proper standards of behaviour and maintain public confidence in the profession.
17. The Registrant has expressed genuine remorse in respect of the facts proved. She says her fitness to practise is impaired by reason of the time she has been away from practice and on the basis of her failings in respect of case records. The emotional impact of these proceedings upon her has been significant. She says that if she were to return to social work she would need to improve her computer literacy and receive supervision to improve her case recording, organization, time management and knowledge of current social work procedures. She has demonstrated some understanding and genuine remorse in respect of the safeguarding issues caused by her inadequate case recording. She has recognised that she put families at some risk of harm due to her failures.
18. The Panel acknowledges that the Registrant has identified areas of her practice which she intends to change, including accessing training in record keeping and risk management. The Registrant accepts that she could not return to social work immediately. The Panel noted that the Registrant has not practised as a Social Worker since 2012. She has recently undertaken important childcare commitments within her own family, suffered health problems and supported a family member with health problems. The Panel concluded that whilst her shortcomings may be remediable, they have clearly not yet been remedied and there remains a real risk of repetition. For these reasons, the Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired on the personal component.
19. Furthermore it is the Panel’s view that in view of the serious shortcomings in the Registrant’s practice which put vulnerable service users at risk over a long period there would be an adverse impact upon public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process, if the Panel did not make a finding that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired. A finding of impairment is also necessary to declare and uphold proper professional standards. For these reasons, the Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is also currently impaired on the grounds of the wider public interest.
20. In coming to its decision on sanction the Panel has given careful consideration to all the circumstances of this case and all the evidence which contributed to its findings on the facts, the statutory grounds and current impairment. It has considered the submissions made by Mr Walters on behalf of the HCPC and by the Registrant on her own behalf and has heard and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. In accordance with that advice the Panel has had due regard to the HCPC Indicative Sanctions Policy. The Panel has noted that any sanction must be proportionate that it is not intended to be punitive although it may have a punitive effect, and that it should be no more than is necessary to meet the legitimate purposes of providing adequate protection to the public and otherwise meeting the wider public interest in protecting the reputation of the profession, maintaining confidence in the regulatory system, and declaring and upholding proper professional standards. The Panel has sought to balance the public interest against the rights of the Registrant to practise her chosen profession.
21. The Panel first identified the aggravating and mitigating factors that it should take into account.
22. The aggravating factors are that the Registrant’s shortcomings involved:
• serious risks to a significant number of very vulnerable service users over a significant period of time;
• damage to the reputation of the profession by failing to maintain appropriate professional standards.
23. The mitigating features of the case are that:
• at the time of her failings the Registrant was under great personal strain which the Panel accepts had a significant effect on her ability to cope with the demands of her work despite laudable and sincere efforts by her employer to support her;
• the Registrant has engaged with this hearing, expressed genuine remorse for her failures and has demonstrated a clear understanding of how she unintentionally placed her service users at risk, a fact which obviously causes her great distress;
• the Registrant has not been involved in any other disciplinary issues, has produced positive testimonials from former colleagues, and the manager responsible for her for a number of years noted that in contrast to her problems with time and caseload management she had good skills in establishing relationships with service users.
24. With those factors in mind the Panel then considered the available sanctions in ascending order of severity and has concluded that to take no action or to impose a caution would not meet the need to protect the public or the wider public interest as it would involve no effective restriction on the right of the Registrant to practise despite the risk of repetition of the shortcomings demonstrated in this case.
25. The Panel next considered whether a conditions of practice order would be appropriate.
26. In the Panel’s view there are many features of this case which would suggest that a conditions of practice order could indeed be appropriate, but is currently impracticable. Those features include the fact that the Registrant’s employer had invested significant effort in supporting her and obviously considered her worth encouraging to get back to an acceptable standard of practice. Furthermore, in the Panel’s judgement, the extra support and supervision put in place by her employer could well have been sufficient to address the Registrant’s shortcomings had it not been for the, at times overwhelming, impact on her of the difficulties she was facing in her personal life. However, the Registrant has not worked as a social worker for nearly three years and is currently unsure of whether she wishes to return to the profession in the foreseeable future. In these circumstances and without any identifiable prospect of her finding work as a social worker the Panel considers it is simply not possible to construct a set of conditions which would properly protect the public and be achievable, realistic and verifiable.
27. Accordingly the Panel next considered whether a suspension order would be appropriate. The HCPC Indicative Sanctions Policy states that a suspension order should be considered where a Panel considers that a caution or conditions of practice order are insufficient or inappropriate to protect the public, or the allegation is of a serious nature but there is a realistic prospect that repetition will not occur and, thus, that striking off is not merited.
28. It is the Panel’s view that this is such a case. The Registrant’s shortcomings are potentially remediable and are not so serious that they are incompatible with her remaining on the register. She has shown enough insight to give a realistic prospect that she may be willing and able to address her failings. She has shown previously that she is capable of being an effective social worker and there is a public interest in encouraging the return to safe practice of a potentially competent professional.
29. During the period of suspension the Registrant will be prevented from practising as a social worker and thus the public will be fully protected unless and until she is assessed as safe to return to either conditional or unrestricted practice. Furthermore the sanction of a suspension order is sufficiently serious to declare and uphold proper standards or professional behaviour and maintain public confidence in the profession and in the regulatory process. The period of the suspension order will be for one year which will give the Registrant a realistic opportunity to reflect on her current indecision as to whether to seek a return to practice and if so to embark on the required remediation. It will be reviewed before it expires. At that review the suspension order will not be lifted unless and until the Registrant can assure the reviewing Panel that she can be allowed to practise either conditionally or unrestricted without risk to the public. Whilst it is not for this Panel in any way to seek to bind the discretion of any reviewing Panel it is suggested that such a Panel might find it helpful, if the Registrant wishes to resume her practice, for her to produce:
• evidence of the further development of her insight through a reflective statement focusing particularly on how she would avoid such a situation developing in the future;
• evidence that she has managed to update herself on current social work policy and practice or, at least, that she has a clear and credible plan to be able to do so in a timely manner;
• evidence of an improvement in her ability to master computer technology insofar as it is necessary for professional competence, or at least, a clear and credible plan to achieve such an improvement;
• evidence of a realistic prospect that her time and workload management would be better in the future.
30. Having determined that a suspension order appeared to meet all the legitimate requirements of a sanction in this case and that it was proportionate in all the circumstances the Panel then considered whether the case would more properly merit a striking off order. The Indicative Sanctions Policy indicates that such a sanction would be appropriate in cases where there is no other way to protect the public or where the nature and gravity of the allegation are such that any lesser sanction would lack deterrent effect or undermine confidence in the profession or the regulatory process. However, the Panel does not consider that this is such a case. A striking off would be disproportionate as the requirements of public protection and the wider public interest can be perfectly adequately served by a suspension order and moreover would be contrary to the public interest in that it would preclude the return to practice of a potentially competent social worker.
31. The Panel has concluded that a suspension order for 12 months is the appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case.
The Order will be reviewed before it expires, i.e. on/around 09 July 2016.
This was a Conduct and Competence Committee hearing held at the HCPC between 08 - 12 June 2015.
History of Hearings for Ms Marie Esther Nolan
|Date||Panel||Hearing type||Outcomes / Status|
|02/10/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|09/06/2017||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|09/06/2016||Conduct and Competence Committee||Review Hearing||Suspended|
|08/06/2015||Conduct and Competence Committee||Final Hearing||Suspended|