Mrs Angela Foulds

: Social worker

: SW47152

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:13:30 10/02/2017 End: 17:00 10/02/2017

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

: Health Committee
: Voluntary Removal agreed

Allegation

Your fitness to practise as a Social Worker is impaired by reason of your health

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 20 December 2016.  The Panel was satisfied that notice had been properly served as required by the Rules.

2. The Panel acceded to an application by Ms Horren for the whole hearing to be held in private due to matters relating to the Registrant’s health being raised.

Proceeding in absence:

3. Ms Horren 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.

4. 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:

5. The Registrant is a registered Social Worker who was employed as a Social Worker, until the termination of her contract of employment by mutual agreement on 30 May 2014. Following the termination of her employment contract, the Registrant self-referred to the HCPC which then undertook an investigation as to the Registrant’s fitness to practise. On 2 September 2016 a panel of the Investigating Committee found there was a case to answer in respect of the above allegation.

6. On 9 September 2016, the Registrant formally admitted the allegation. By letter dated 21 September 2016, the Registrant requested that her name be removed from the HCPC register voluntarily. Subsequently, a Voluntary Removal Agreement was signed by the Registrant and the HCPC.

Decision:

7. The Panel heard submissions from Ms Horren who submitted that the Registrant clearly wished to be removed from the Register. Ms Horren 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 re-join the Register for a period of five years.

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

9. 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 set the matter down for a substantive hearing.

10. The Panel noted that a Striking Off Order would not be an available sanction at the conclusion of any substantive hearing, given this is a health case. However, the Panel was satisfied that given the public would be protected, and the public interest served, by the Voluntary Removal Agreement it was a proportionate and appropriate response.

11. For all these reasons, the Panel considered it appropriate to approve the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement dated 10 February 2017.

Order

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 Angela Foulds

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
10/02/2017 Health Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed