Mrs Zarina Zeria

: Social worker

: SW70912

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 10/02/2017 End: 17:00 10/02/2017

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Voluntary Removal agreed

Allegation

1)    Following an assessment of Service User 1 at her home on 02 March 2011 who you observed to be communicating in a delusional manner, you:

 

a)    Did not appropriately make any follow up calls to either Service User 1’s GP and/or the Crisis Resolution Home Treatment (CRHT) Team;

b)    Did not arrange to visit her again until on or around 22 March 2011.

 

2)    During a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) Assessment of Service User 2 on 30 May 2012, you:

 

a)    Did not communicate effectively with Service User 2 in that you:

i)      Asked Service User 2 about his mood on 3 occasions;

ii)     Did not ask questions of Service User 2 to enable you to formulate his needs and risks;

b)    Did not identify what specific interventions Service User 2 required;

c)    Did not identify which needs of Service User 2 needed to be met;

d)    Your Assessment Report for Service User 2 was inadequate and/or inappropriate in that:

i)      You did not include a formulation of Service User 2's needs and/or risks;

ii)     You did not document any recommendations;

iii)    It included Service User 2’s forensic history, when this had not been discussed with him.

 

3)    During a CMHT Assessment of Service User 3 on 28 June 2012 you did not communicate effectively in that:

 

a)    You asked Service User 3 why he didn't speak with his mother after he had already explained that;

b)    You did not act appropriately when Service User 3 became distressed and/or appeared to be responding to voices.

 

4)    During a CMHT Assessment on 24 September 2012 at Service User 4’s home, you did not communicate effectively and/or appropriately in that you:

 

a)    Listed the staff on the CMHT team by profession, using abbreviated titles;

b)    Did not act upon Service User 4’s indication that she did not like answering lots of questions;

c)    Did not ask any follow up questions upon Service User 4’s admission of anxiety about her daughter being at risk;

d)    Asked questions which Service User 4 had already answered;

e)    Moved from one topic to another without a coherent structure.

 

5)    During a CMHT Assessment on 19 April 2013 at Service User 5’s home, you asked a number of inappropriate questions in that:

 

a)    You asked why Service User 5 thought he was a bad father, or words to that effect, when he had not said that;

b)    You asked Service User 5 if he had taken part in big or small robberies, or words to that effect;

c)    You asked Service User 5 if he knew what led to the violence, or words to that effect;

d)    You asked Service User 5 if Person A had got any problems or words to that effect.

 

6)    In relation to Service User 6, you;

 

a)    During a CMHT Assessment on 3 February 2012, did not introduce or explain the rationale for the Standardised Risk Screening Tool to the service user;

b)    Did not identify your entry in the service user notes as a CMHT assessment;

c)    Documented that the service user had thoughts to harm his sister when this was not accurate and/or in context.

 

7)    You completed an entry on AMIGOS in relation to Service User 7 dated 03 May 2013 which was inadequate in that you:

 

a)    Failed to record full details of the service that was being provided to Service User 7 including the cost of this service;

b)    Failed to amend your entry despite several requests to do so from your line manager.

 

8)    Your actions in relation to Service User 8 were inappropriate/inadequate in that:

 

a)    In or around 2010 you:

i)      Informed Service User 8 that funding for her accommodation was being withdrawn without first consulting with Service User 8’s Clinical Supervisor or Community Psychiatric Nurse;

ii)     Informed Service User 8 that she was entitled to £150 per week to fund her accommodation without first consulting with Service User 8’s Community Psychiatric Nurse;

iii)    Failed to assist Service User 8 when she moved from the Care Centre B to the Housing Project C.

b)    In or around 2013 you informed Service User 8 that funding for her accommodation was being withdrawn without first consulting with Service User 8’s Clinical Supervisor or Community Psychiatric Nurse;

c)    On or around 10 July 2013, you visited Service User 8 and acted inappropriately in that you:

i)      Attended the Housing Project C without notifying staff at the Housing Project or Service User 8 of your visit;

ii)     Removed Service User 8 from the Housing Project C without explaining where you were taking her;

iii)    Transported Service User 8 to the Locality D when you were aware that Service User 8 was prohibited from entering the Locality D;

iv)   Did not inform staff at the Housing Project E of your visit;

v)    Upon attending the Housing Project E you failed to explain who you were or the purpose of your visit;

vi)   Disclosed confidential information about Service User 8 in inappropriate circumstances.

d)    Made inappropriate comments about Service User 8’s weight;

e)    Communicated with staff at the Housing Project C in a rude/inappropriate manner;

f)     Completed an entry on AMIGOS in relation to Service User 8 dated 09 April 2013 which was inadequate in that you recorded that Service User 8’s: “current level of risk to others is low”, without recording a rationale for this conclusion;

g)    You completed an entry on AMIGOS in relation to Service User 8 dated 17 June 2013 which was inappropriate / inadequate in that you recorded that Service User 8’s Community Psychiatric Nurse: “communicated in a threaten [sic] way stated that she will get the solicitor involved”;

h)    Between January 2013 and March 2013 you failed:

i)      To provide sufficient detail regarding risks to Service User 8 in an application to the Social Care Funding Panel;

ii)     To amend your application to the Social Care Funding Panel despite several requests from you manager to do so.

 

9)    In relation to Service User 9 your actions were inappropriate/inadequate in that you:

 

a)    Inappropriately recorded on AMIGOS that Service User 9 had “made excuses” without explaining the reasons for the Service User’s lack of engagement;

b)    Failed to keep regular appointments to visit Service User 9;

c)    Failed to arrange to speak with Service User 9 with the assistance of a Pashto interpreter.

 

10)  In relation to Service User 10 your actions were inappropriate/inadequate in that you:

 

a)    Recorded that Service User 10: “is bisexual and does not wish to be abused by the public” without providing any contextual information;

b)    Contacted Service User 10’s mother on 26 April 2014, alerting her that Service User 10 had been referred to Mental Health Services;

 

11)  You did not demonstrate an adequate understanding of the function of the CMHT in that:

 

a)    You were not able to describe the range of mental health disorders and/or symptoms experienced by people who may benefit from CMHT care;

b)    You showed a limited understanding of Fair Access to Care (FACs);

c)    Your knowledge of the health and social care needs for Service Users for which you were the Care Coordinator for was poor;

d)    You were not clear of the purposes of your contact with Service Users;

e)    You were not able to describe how to assess capacity and/or how to record these assessments on the Trust’s recording system, Amigos;

f)     You did not readily recognise and/or take action in relation to a safeguarding issue which arose during a visit to Service User 1 on 4 October 2012.

 

12)  The matters set out in paragraphs 1 to 11 amount to misconduct and/or lack of competence.

 

13)  By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence, your fitness to practise is impaired.

Finding

Preliminary Matters:

Service:


1. The Panel was informed by the hearings officer that notice of this Voluntary Removal Panel hearing was sent to the Registrant’s registered address by letter dated 29 November 2016.  The Panel was satisfied that notice had been properly served as required by the Rules.


Proceeding in absence:


2. Ms Royer applied for the hearing to proceed in the Registrant’s absence. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who advised that the Panel’s discretion to proceed in the Registrant’s absence should only be exercised with the utmost care and caution.


3. The Panel was satisfied that notice of this hearing was sent to the Registrant’s registered address and had been served in accordance with the rules. The Panel concluded that the Registrant had voluntarily absented herself and there was no evidence that she would attend an adjourned hearing. The Panel noted that the purpose of this hearing was to consider the terms of a voluntary removal agreement agreed between the HCPC and the Registrant which had been signed by her. The Panel considered that it was in the public interest and in the Registrant’s interests that the agreement should be considered expeditiously. Accordingly, the Panel decided to proceed in the Registrant’s absence.


Background:


4. The Registrant is a registered Social Worker who was employed as a Social Worker for the Central East Community Mental Health Team within the Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust from 2001. 


5. In 2008 concerns were raised with her manager in relation to the Registrant’s work.  As a result, the Registrant met with her manager on a weekly basis for supervision and standard setting in order to offer her support in improving the standard of her work.  The Registrant seemed to respond well to this supervision and continued to work independently. 


6. In 2010 the Registrant’s manager was contacted by a consultant psychiatrist asking her to investigate a particular matter.  As a result, the Registrant’s line manager took the decision to start supervising her on a more frequent basis.  During supervision, issues with the Registrant’s capability to perform her role became apparent and on 4 March 2011, a capability performance review was commenced.


7. Unfortunately, despite further supervision, the Registrant failed to improve her practice, resulting in her dismissal and referral to the HCPC. At a substantive hearing held on 22-24 and 27 June 2016, a Panel of the Conduct and Competence found all of the Particulars apart from 8(c)(iv)(v) d, e and 9(b) proved. That Panel found the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of lack of competence and imposed a suspension order for a period of 12 months.


Decision:


8. The Panel heard submissions from Ms Royer. She referred the Panel to an email from the Registrant to the HCPC dated 14 September in which the Registrant requested that she be voluntarily removed from the Register due to her health and well-being. Ms Royer submitted that the Registrant wished to be removed from the Register. Ms Royer further submitted that the HCPC was satisfied that voluntary removal from the Register was an appropriate disposal of this case and would protect the public and was in the public interest. This was because its effect was the same as a strike-off from the Register following a finding of impairment of fitness to practise in that it would prevent the Registrant from practising or applying to rejoin the Register for a period of five years.


9. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.


10. The Panel first reminded itself of the guidance offered in the HCPC Practice Note entitled “Disposal of Cases by Consent”. The Panel noted that it had the power to adopt one of two courses of action:
i. to deal with the case in an expedited manner by approving the proposal set out in the Voluntary Removal Agreement;
ii. to reject the proposal and decline to revoke the current suspension order.


11. The Panel noted correspondence between the HCPC and the Registrant which suggested some ambivalence on the part of the Registrant as to her acceptance of the findings of the final hearing. However, given the facts had been proved and given the Registrant had subsequently signed the VRA which indicates her acceptance of the matters found proved, the Panel was content to proceed.

12. The Panel noted that the Registrant was found impaired as a result of lack of competence and that a Striking Off Order was not currently available. However, the Panel was satisfied that the public would be protected, and the public interest served, by the Voluntary Removal Agreement, taking into account the findings of the previous Panel. The Panel also took into account the Registrant’s representations about the adverse effect of remaining on the Register on her health and that she was due to retire imminently.


13. For all these reasons, the Panel revokes the current suspension order  and approves the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement dated 3 January 2017.

Order

Order: The current Suspension Order is revoked and the Voluntary Removal Agreement is approved.

Notes

If the Registrant seeks to return to the HCPC Register at any time the application would be treated as if the registrant had been struck off as a result of that allegation.

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Mrs Zarina Zeria

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
10/02/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
22/06/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended