Mr Abid Kabir Ahmad

: Social worker

: SW20638

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:11:00 18/04/2017 End: 17:00 18/04/2017

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Hearing has not yet been held

Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Social Worker for West Sussex County Council between the dates of 15 October 2012 and September 2013;

 1)     You failed to maintain accurate and/or complete case notes and/or records in that:

  a)     In the Case of Service User 2, a case note on 23 July 2012 indicates that you sent a BICA to a nursing home but no assessment at that time is recorded on the FWi;

 b)    Not proved

2)     You did not progress cases in a timely manner in that:

 a)     you visited Service User 1 and/or around 10 September 2013 but did not finalise a support plan until on/or around 24 September 2013.

b)    In the case of Service User 1;

 i)      Not proved

 ii)     the Self or Supported Assessment (SOSA) which commenced on 13 September 2013 was not completed until 20 September 2013.

 3)     You did not take appropriate case actions in that;

a)     In the case of Service User 4;

 i)      Not proved

 ii)     not proved

 b)    You allowed Service User 2 to be discharged from hospital without establishing the funding arrangements.

c)    You sought to arrange a short stay placement for Service User 3 despite being aware that Service User 3 lacked capacity 

  4)     Your actions described at paragraphs 1-3 amount to a lack of competence and/or misconduct.

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

Finding

Preliminary Applications

1. The Panel determined that it would hear those parts of the case in which reference was made to the health and private life of the Registrant, in private, under Rule 10 (1)(a) of the HCPC (Conduct and Competence Committee) (Procedure) Rules 2003 (‘the Rules’).  In making this decision the Panel acknowledged that there is a presumption that hearings will be held in public. The decision is to protect the private life of the Registrant which the Panel considers outweighs the public interest in this instance.

Background

2. The Registrant commenced employment with West Sussex County Council (“the Council”) on 6 January 2003, first as a Social Worker, then as a Senior Social Worker within the Children’s Service.  In May 2012 it was decided to place the Registrant on secondment to Adult Services and he commenced this role on 15 October 2012.  He was allocated a mentor (SS) for advice/informal supervision and his line manager (DC) met with him to discuss his cases and workload regularly.  The Registrant underwent an induction period of 2 - 4 weeks duration.  Objectives were put into place and these were to be monitored during his supervision and at approximately four monthly progress reviews.

3. By February 2013 DC noted that the Registrant’s progress review had identified that more development was required by him in relation to his organisational skills and time management.

4. From February to March 2013 the Registrant was on sick leave, returning in a phased manner from 18 March 2013.  On return his caseload was reduced. The Council concluded that, from approximately March 2013 to July 2013, despite a temporary improvement in the Registrant’s performance, he continued to demonstrate poor recording, organisational and prioritising skills.

5. A formal capability process was commenced internally at the Council.  At a meeting on 14 August 2013 concerns were identified with the Registrant’s  performance and further action plans and objectives were set up to address these concerns in relation to assessments, time keeping, organisational skills, case recording, behaviour towards others and his sickness record.

6. A further review meeting took place on 18 September 2013. It was found that some improvement had taken place but the Registrant struggled to prioritise his work and had not made use of the administrative support available to him. It was alleged that the Registrant had not met 5 of the 6 objectives set for him on 14 August 2013.  It was recommended that his hearing went to a Final Review meeting.  A Performance Capability Hearing was convened on 21 October 2013.  At that hearing, the Registrant stated that he wished to terminate his employment with the Council by mutual agreement.

7. The Registrant’s employment was terminated on 31 October 2013 and the Council reported the matters to the HCPC.

8. The hearing at the HCPC took place between 2 - 4 November 2015, during which the particulars of the Allegation detailed above were found proved.  The Panel found that the grounds of misconduct and lack of competence were made out and determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practice was impaired at that time.

9. In making its determination the Panel considered that the Registrant’s:

“acts of misconduct and lack of competence related to his organisation and management of service users and the failure by him to receive information and advice from others in a multidisciplinary team and to fully implement some basic social work duties, in which he should have been fully versed..… in some areas [the Registrant] failed to alert the persons responsible to his ongoing health and personal issues, or, alternatively, failed to stop practising until these had been fully resolved.”

10. However, it was also noted that:
“..if [the Registrant] had received more support and more appropriate supervision and training at the time of these matters, events since that time may have taken a different course”

11. The Panel imposed a Conditions of Practice Order in the following terms:

1. Within 2 months you must identify a mentor who is a registered Social Worker and provide his/her details to the HCPC. The mentor should assist you to develop a Personal Development Plan (PDP) designed to assist you to address the deficiencies in the following area of your practice:

· Planning and organisation
· Working to deadlines
· Appropriate recording
· Developing coping methods and resilience

 2. Within 4 months of the ‘Operative Date’ you must forward a copy of your Personal Development Plan to the HCPC.

 3. You must meet with your mentor a minimum of 3 times in the first 6 months.

 4. You must allow your mentor to provide information to the HCPC about your progress towards achieving the aims set out in your Personal Development Plan and this information must be sent to the HCPC no later than no later than 28 working days before any review.

 5. In any work you undertake as a registered Social Worker 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).

 In relation to conditions 6, 7 and 8 below, when employed as a registered Social Worker:

 6. You must place yourself and remain under the supervision of workplace manager/ supervisor registered by the HCPC and supply details of your manager/ supervisor to the HCPC within 28 days of commencing employment. You must attend upon that manager/ supervisor as required and follow their advice and recommendations.

 7. You must meet with your manager/ supervisor to continue to develop your Personal Development Plan in line with the role you will be undertaking. These supervision meetings should take place weekly for the first 3 months and then monthly thereafter.

 8. Your manager/ supervisor must provide a progress report to the HCPC no later than 28 working days before any review.

 9. Any condition requiring you to provide any information to obtain the approval of the HCPC is to be met by you sending the information to the offices of the HCPC, marked for the attention of the Director of Fitness to Practise or Head of Case Management.

 10. You will be responsible for meeting any and all costs associated with complying with these conditions.

Decision

12. This is a review of the substantive Conditions of Practice Order, imposed on 4 November 2015 for 18 months.  It came into effect, following the appeal period, on 2 December 2015.  It will therefore expire on 2 June 2017.

13. The Panel heard representations from Ms. Corbett on behalf of the HCPC and considered the evidence and submissions of the Registrant and his mentor, Mr. M Ws, Social Worker.  The Registrant also submitted a number of documents for consideration by the Panel including: a mentor’s report, two supervisor’s reports, a number of testimonials and certificates of training undertaken.

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

15. The Panel noted the findings of the previous Panel, namely that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his misconduct and lack of competence.

16. In undertaking its task today, the Panel is not undertaking a rehearing of the matters which were brought against the Registrant, nor going behind previous findings. The Panel reminded itself that the decision as to what is the appropriate and proportionate disposal at this review hearing is a matter for its judgment alone.

Impairment

17. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, had regard to the HCPC Practice Note “Finding that Fitness to Practise is Impaired”, dated July 2013 and noted the guidance in the case of Meadows v GMC [2007]1 All ER 1, and Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) v NMC and Grant [2011] EWHC 927.

18. The Panel noted that the Registrant has fully engaged in the fitness to practise process both at the final hearing and in the ongoing period during which he was subject to the Conditions of Practice Order.

19. The Registrant has not worked as a registered Social Worker during the last 18 months.  During the period from October 2014 to May 2016 he worked as a Liaison Officer for the Traveller Education Support Service under the supervision of HS.  From May 2016 the Registrant has been in his current role as a Child Protection Officer at Thomas Bennett Community College in Crawley under the supervision of TS, Assistant Head teacher.   Nevertheless, the Panel noted that both of these roles have required him to utilise many of the skills required of a social worker and he has a high degree of contact with social workers within his current role. Both supervisors gave very positive reports regarding the Registrant’s conduct and performance in respect of the previously identified failings.

20. In particular, TS commented that, ‘[the Registrant] has managed the role of safeguarding officer very well with excellent consistency in terms of organisation and time management.

21. The Registrant has complied with all of the conditions of practice which were engaged during the relevant period as follows:

22. On 11 January 2014 the Registrant notified the HCPC of his mentor’s details in accordance with condition 1 of the order.

23. A Personal Development Plan, addressing the identified deficiencies in the Registrant’s practice was forwarded to the HCPC in accordance with condition 2 of the order. In this respect the Panel also noted that the Registrant had provided further documentation to evidence areas of performance he had been working on directly with his line managers and supervisors.

24. In accordance with Condition 3, there was evidence of regular meetings with his mentor, often in conjunction with his supervisors.

25. In respect of Condition 4, the Panel noted the contents of Mr Ws’ report and the evidence he gave.  The Registrant has clearly engaged fully with the support of his mentor and supervisors to his benefit.  Mr Ws submitted that he is confident that the Registrant has fully addressed all areas of concern identified by the previous Panel and that he is now fit to practise without restrictions.

26. Condition 5 was not engaged as the Registrant has not undertaken any registered social work during the period of restricted practice, although the Panel noted that he has clearly kept his employers informed of the conditions of practice order imposed.

27. Technically conditions 6, 7 and 8 were not engaged for the same reasons.  However the Registrant has regularly met with his supervisors who have worked in conjunction with his mentor to raise the standards of his conduct and practice in all expected areas. The other testimonials confirm that the Registrant is well thought of in his current role.

28. The Panel considered that the Registrant has been open, honest and transparent in the way he gave his evidence and during his dealings with the HCPC since the order was made.  He has taken the opportunity to consolidate his skills and practice and is passionately committed to pursuing his career as a Social Worker in the future.

29. In all of these circumstances and in light of the fact that the Registrant has worked safely and effectively in roles which, in many respects, require a similar skill base to that of a registered social worker, the Panel is satisfied that he has fully remedied the identified failings such that there is a very low risk of repetition.  Moreover, the Registrant has demonstrated sufficient insight into his failings and has employed strategies to address the ways in which his health issue may impact upon his performance. Accordingly the Panel finds that the Registrant’s current fitness to practice is not impaired.


 

Order

ORDER: The Conditions of Practice Order against the registration of Mr Abid Ahmad is to lapse upon expiry.

Notes

This Order will expire on 02 June 2017.

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Mr Abid Kabir Ahmad

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
18/04/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Hearing has not yet been held
02/11/2015 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Conditions of Practice