Ms Anne Margaret Davies

: Social worker

: SW69609

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:12:30 13/06/2017 End: 14:30 13/06/2017

: Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS), 405 Kennington Road, London, SE11 4PT

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Suspended

Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Social Worker with Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust (the Trust) between October 2010 and 14 January 2014 you:

 

1. Did not consistently update the Trust PBI system including in respect of:

a. Care plans; and/or

b. Care plan reviews; and/or

c. Cluster reviews; and/or

d. NHS Care Records System (NCRS) contact;

 

2. Did not consistently complete care plans within 28 days of allocation including in the case of:

a. Service User 8; and/or

b. Service User 9; and/or

c. Service user 10;

 

3. Did not consistently include sufficient and/or adequate information in care plans including in the cases of:

a. Service User 2; and/or

b. Service User 21;

 

4. Did not consistently complete care plan reviews and/or amend the care plans following care plan reviews in a timely manner including in the case of:

a. Service User 2; and/or

b. Service User 11; and/or

c. Service User 12; and/or

d. Service User 13; and/or

e. Service User 14; and/or

f. Service User 15; and/or

g. Service User 16; and/or

h. Service User 17; and/or

i. Service User 18; and/or

j. Service User 19 and/or

k. Service User 20;

 

5. Did not consistently maintain sufficiently detailed and/or contemporaneous notes including in the cases of

a. Service User 3; and/or

b. Service User 4; and/or

c. Service User 20; and/or

d. Service User 22;

 

6. Did not consistently manage and/or appropriately respond to risk related information and/or incidents including in the cases of;

a. Service User 3; and/or

b. Service User 8 and/or;

c. Service User 21;

 

7. Did not store confidential information appropriately, in that you kept Service User information and other sensitive documents on and/or in your desk;

 

8. Did not consistently liaise with other professionals in that you did not regularly attend clinical team meetings;

 

9. Did not consistently manage your timekeeping effectively in relation to appointments with service users, including in the cases of:

a. Service User 5; and/or

b. Service User 6; and/or

c. Service User 7;

 

10. Did not consistently discharge Service Users in a timely manner including in the cases of;

a. Service User 1; and/or

b. Service User 11; and/or

c. Service User 12; and/or

d. Service User 13

 

11. The matters described in paragraph 1-10 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

 

12. By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence.

Finding

Background

1. The Registrant is a registered Social Worker. From 2008 she was employed as a Band 6 Case Manager in the Early Intervention Service (EIS), which was part of Adult Mental Health and Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at Worcestershire Health & Care Trust (the Trust). EIS provides clinical interventions via a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) for service users aged 14-35 years who have experienced a first episode of psychosis.

2. The proven allegations of misconduct concern the period October 2010 to January 2014, during which period, from November 2010 to November 2012, the Registrant was supported through the Trust’s Capability Procedure. In addition, the Registrant’s caseload was reduced from 15 to between 9 and 11 cases. The misconduct related to a wide range of case management issues, and included the consistent failure to update care plans and reviews; consistent failure to complete and/or amend care plans and reviews; consistent failure to include sufficient information in care plans and in case notes; consistent failure to respond appropriately to risk-related information; consistent failure to liaise with other professionals; and the failure to store confidential information appropriately.

Decision

3. Mr Pye, on behalf of the HCPC, submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains currently impaired because the Registrant is not yet able to demonstrate full remediation of her extensive practice deficiencies. He submitted that, given the Registrant’s efforts to date, it would assist the Registrant and at the same time provide sufficient protection to the public and to maintain public confidence in the profession for a Conditions of Practice Order to be imposed from the expiry of the existing Suspension Order.

4. Ms Hurd, on behalf of the Registrant, submitted that the Registrant was willing to comply with a Conditions of Practice Order and this would give her the opportunity to obtain employment in the social work field or an area closely related to it. The Registrant was eager to demonstrate improvements in her case management but this could only be done if she obtained appropriate social work employment. The Registrant told the Panel that she knew she had lacked skills in using computers, which was why she had undertaken the European Computer Driving Licence course, and was also undertaking a touch-typing course. The Registrant produced a reflective statement on her own behalf, along with a reference from her current employer. The Registrant also told the Panel that she had had a shift in her mind-set before the previous hearing, in that she had come to recognise the importance of care plans and the like, and the risk posed to service users if records are not properly maintained and made at the appropriate time.

5. This is a review under Article 30 of the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. In reaching its decision today, this Panel has taken careful account of the findings of the previous panel. The Panel has accepted the Legal Assessor’s advice and exercised the principle of proportionality and considered the full guidance in the HCPC’s “Indicative Sanctions Policy” (March 2017).

6. The previous panel considered that an aggravating feature was the persistence and long duration of the Registrant’s failings, leading to the real risk of recurrence. On the other hand, that panel also accepted what it considered to be the strong mitigation of the Registrant’s acceptance of her failings, combined with her history of good service and her proven clinical skills. It considered that the extent and duration of misconduct was too serious to make no order or to impose a Caution Order. A Conditions of Practice Order was determined, at that time, to be unworkable and onerous, and would also not meet the gravity of the situation, which was why the Suspension Order was imposed for 9 months.

7. That panel also indicated what a review panel might consider helpful evidence to demonstrate that the Registrant had gained further insight and remediation. It was suggested that this might be an update from the Registrant about her progress and written and/or oral evidence from an employer (whether voluntary or paid work) in relation to a role similar to social work, in particular to managing a caseload and completing all relevant recording and administration.

8. The Panel first considered whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired or whether all the deficiencies had been sufficiently and fully addressed and remedied. The Panel noted that the Registrant did not contend that this was the case, but that more needed to be achieved. The Panel was particularly concerned at the limited progress demonstrated in respect of the Registrant’s gaining of insight into the identified wide-raging deficiencies that had occurred over a period of years. The deficiencies related to fundamental tasks of a Social Worker and the Registrant still displayed limited recognition of the impact on service users of her failure to carry out her responsibilities. In the circumstances, the Panel determined that further steps were required and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained currently impaired.

9. The Panel therefore went on to consider whether an order remained necessary. The extensive nature of the deficiencies found in the Registrant’s practice combined with the Registrant’s limited insight created, in the Panel’s view, the real risk of repetition of the misconduct to the potential harm of service users. The Panel therefore determined that a further order was required in order to protect both the public and the public’s confidence in the profession and the regulatory process.

10. The Panel moved on to carefully consider whether it was sufficient and proportionate to extend the current period of suspension, or whether the lesser sanction of a Conditions of Practice Order for a further period would be more appropriate. The Panel concluded that it could not frame workable conditions of practice because the deficiencies identified are wide-ranging and the conditions required would be far too onerous for an employer. Moreover, conditions of practice could not really address the Panel’s main concern in this case, which was the lack of the Registrant’s full insight into her failings and the possible detrimental consequences for service users of those failings.

11. The Panel determined that the minimum sufficient and proportionate order would be to extend the Suspension Order for a further period of 12 months upon the expiry of the present Suspension Order. It would be disproportionate to impose a Striking Off Order given the Registrant’s gaining of some insight, albeit presently insufficient insight, and willingness to seek to address and remedy the identified deficiencies.

12. The Panel considered that the next review panel might be assisted by:

  • the Registrant’s personal attendance at the review hearing;
  • oral and/or written reflections by the Registrant which demonstrate greater insight into her identified deficiencies and the risk which those deficiencies pose to service users;
  • oral and/or documentary evidence of (i) continuing professional development (CPD) and (ii) the maintenance of the Registrant’s skills in social care;
  • relevant references and testimonials, in particular those which directly address the Registrant’s efforts to remediate her identified deficiencies.

Order

The Registrar is directed to suspend the registration of Ms Anne Margaret Davies for a further period of 12 months on the expiry of the existing Order.

Notes

The order imposed today will apply from 18 July 2017.

This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 18 July 2018.

 

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Ms Anne Margaret Davies

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
15/06/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
13/06/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended
14/09/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended
08/06/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Hearing has not yet been held