Rebecca Jane Andrew

: Social worker

: SW00690

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:12:30 14/08/2015 End: 14:30 14/08/2015

: Health and Care Professions Council, Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4BU

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Conditions of Practice

Allegation

(As found proved at the Final Hearing)

During the course of your employment as a Social Worker at the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS), between 1 June 2011 and December 2012 you:

1.     Did not submit your Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) portfolio due on 5 November 2012.

2.     Did not adequately plan and manage your workload in that you:

a)     did not complete the case closures identified in July 2012 in 10 of your 33 cases;

b)     Not proved

c)     did not file your reports in time to allow for reflection, learning and development.

3.     [Not proved

a)     Not proved

b)     Not proved

c)     Not proved]

4.     The matters described in paragraphs 1 to 2 constitute lack of competence.

5.     By reason of your lack of competence, your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Background

1.     The Registrant was employed by CAFCASS from September 2010 and commenced a three-year Newly Qualified Social Worker (NQSW) training programme in June 2011. She was required to complete a portfolio of evidence at the end of the first year of the programme but failed to do so then or by the extended deadline, following further extensions of time. When she did submit her paperwork it fell below the required standards. CAFCASS also identified that the Registrant was failing to close cases, and was not filing court reports in time. The matter was referred to a formal capability meeting on 5 December 2012, which resulted in the Registrant being dismissed on the grounds of lack of capability.

2.     The concerns of the Registrant’s former employer were referred to the HCPC, resulting in the current proceedings. A final hearing of the allegations referred to above took place before a Panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee on 20-21 May 2014. The Registrant did not attend that hearing but admitted the facts alleged in particulars 1, 2a and 2c, which the Panel found proved. That Panel decided that the proven facts constituted lack of competence. The Panel found that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired and imposed a Suspension Order for a period of 9 months, which it considered was proportionate to the lack of competence found and would give the Registrant sufficient time to remedy the deficiencies in her practice.

3.     The Registrant was advised that the reviewing Panel was likely to be assisted by evidence of remediation and, in particular, a reflective statement on the outcome of the proceedings and the extent to which she had changed her behaviour and developed her insight. The Registrant was also advised that her attendance at the review hearing would be helpful and details of any training undertaken, employment references and other steps taken to remedy her deficiencies.

4.     The case was first reviewed on 27 January 2015. That Panel heard from the Presenting Officer and from the Registrant. The Registrant stated that she was not currently working in a paid or voluntary capacity and she was unaware of the need to maintain her CPD. That Panel found that the Registrant’s insight was limited and she had not taken any significant steps to remediate her practice. The Panel concluded that the Registrant was currently impaired and extended the Suspension Order for a further 9 months.

5.     That Panel considered that this period of time would give the Registrant further opportunity to find care-related work, whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, and to demonstrate that she has taken steps to acquire the competencies in which she was previously found to be deficient.

6.     That Panel stated at the review of this Order, that a future reviewing Panel would be likely to be assisted by;

·         The Registrant’s attendance in person;

·         An up-to-date detailed CPD log showing a mixture of CPD activity;

·         Evidence of care-related work (whether paid or unpaid);

·         References and testimonials relating to her performance and competencies;

·         Information about any other steps she has taken to remedy the deficits identified.

7.     At today’s review, Mr Chan, on behalf of the HCPC, related the background to this case to the Panel and reminded the Panel of its powers.

8.     The Registrant gave evidence on Oath. Having presented to the Panel a bundle of documents, she explained these in some detail. She indicated that she was currently working as a Healthcare Assistant at York District Hospital, where she had been since April 2015. She informed the Panel that she wished to return to social work practice and had not yet made up her mind whether this would be in relation to children or adults. She gave evidence of her professional development and answered questions from the Panel and from Mr Chan. She stated that her skills as a Healthcare Assistant, such as communication and record-keeping, were transferable skills to a social work setting. She said that she was working with patients and colleagues and completing appropriate documentation. She also presented a portfolio of the work in which she had been involved and evidence of training, some of which were relevant to the social work field. She further provided evidence of her portfolio in preparation for completion of a Care Certificate. The Registrant, in her final submission, stated that she wished to return to social work.

9.     The Legal Assessor reminded the Panel that there is a persuasive burden upon a Registrant to demonstrate that they have addressed their past impairment. He advised that the Panel had to consider whether the Registrant was still impaired and, if she was, the sanction that would be most appropriate.

 

Decision

10.   The Panel considered all of the documentary and oral evidence before it today. The Panel referred to the HCPC Practice Note “Finding That Fitness to Practice is Impaired”.

11.   The Panel is satisfied that the Registrant has gone some way towards remediation, but noted that the Registrant’s current role as a Healthcare Assistant since April 2015 is materially different from that of a Social Worker. The Panel acknowledges that there are some transferable skills in the Registrant’s current role as a Healthcare Assistant, but her role is limited in that she is not currently managing a caseload. Also, as part of a team, she does not have sole responsibility for planning work and, by the nature of her role, does not routinely need to manage complex competing demands.

12.   The Panel therefore considers that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is still impaired. It is impaired on the personal component because there is further remediation required and her insight is still developing. There is still a risk of repetition. Additionally, there is impairment on the public component in the need to protect service users and to declare and uphold proper standards of behaviour.

13.   The Panel, having found that the Registrant’s fitness to practise is still impaired, went on to consider what sanction, if any, should be placed upon the Registrant’s registration. In doing so, it took account of the HCPC’s “Indicative Sanctions Policy” in ascending order of seriousness. The Panel considered that the concerns still outstanding are serious and it would therefore be inappropriate to consider no further action, mediation, or the imposition of a caution order. None of these would give sufficient protection to service users.

14.   The Panel next considered making a Conditions of Practice Order, and in doing so took account that such an order would have to be proportionate and any conditions would have to be workable, enforceable and realistic. The Panel concluded that an 18 month Conditions of Practice Order was a proportionate and appropriate sanction.

15.   The Panel considered that it would be disproportionate to continue the current Suspension Order. The Registrant has attended today, which the Panel viewed positively. In addition, it noted the fact that the Registrant has provided a bundle of evidence which demonstrated clear efforts to comply with the requirements from the last review. She also gave further evidence on Oath, which provided further details about her reflections on her deficiencies and how she is beginning to address these.

16.   The Panel imposes a Conditions of Practice Order for a period of 18 months, as this period of time will enable the Registrant to find suitable employment, to comply with the conditions and to remediate the concerns.

17.   The next reviewing Panel would be assisted by:

·         The Registrant’s attendance in person;

·         References and testimonials relating to her performance and competencies;

 

Order

The Registrar is directed to annotate the Register to show that, for a period of 18 months from the date that this Order comes into effect (“the Operative Date”), you, Miss Rebecca Jane Andrew, must comply with the following conditions of practice:

1.     Within the first 6 months of obtaining a social work post, you must ensure that you undertake specific training on:

a.     Time management;

b.     Meeting deadlines;

c.     Workload prioritisation;

d.     Refresher training in your chosen field of social work.

2.     You must submit to the HCPC evidence of the training as per condition 1 within 14 days of its successful completion.

3.     You must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a supervisor registered by the HCPC and supply details of your supervisor to the HCPC within 14 days of commencing a role in a social work post.

4.     You must ensure that you attend monthly supervision with your supervisor and proactively use it to discuss your practice and follow their advice and recommendations.

5.     You must work with your supervisor to formulate a Personal Development Plan (PDP) designed to address the deficiencies in the following areas of your practice:

a.     Time management;

b.     Prioritisation of workload;

c.     Caseload management;

d.     As part of your PDP, you are further to:

i.              Evidence professional development of your practise within your chosen field of social work;

ii.             Evidence the updating of your PDP;

iii.            Evidence maintenance of a reflective practice log, in particular to cover the concerns identified by the Panels in their previous findings.

6.     You must allow your supervisor to provide information to the HCPC about your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your PDP. You must obtain a report from your supervisor, commenting on your overall performance and practice, to be sent to the HCPC not less than 14 days before the review of this Order.

7.     You must submit evidence to the HCPC of the successful completion of your Care Certificate portfolio.

8.     You must provide successful completion of casework from a range of cases within your chosen social work field, showing how you have proactively managed your cases in a timely manner. This must be provided not less than 14 days before the review of this order.

9.     You must inform the following parties that your registration is subject to these conditions:

a.     any organisation or person employing or contracting with you to undertake professional work;

b.     any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered with (at the time of application); and

c.     any prospective employer (at the time of your application).

 

 

Notes

The order imposed today will apply from 18 December 2015.

This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 18 June 2017.

 

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Rebecca Jane Andrew

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
17/11/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
18/05/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
14/08/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
27/01/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
20/05/2014 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended