Mr Brian Allerdyce
As found proved at the final hearing on 03 - 06 August 2015
During the course of your employment as a Social Worker with North Tyneside Council between 2000 and 31 October 2012:
1. In respect of Service User A, you;
a) Did not carry out a FACE risk assessment on 5 October 2011 when you completed the Specialist Assessment
b) Made inconsistent entries in the Specialist Assessment on 5 October 2011, in that you;
i. noted that Service User A’s carer ‘needs a break’ and that there was ‘nothing at this stage to indicate carers needs’
ii. noted that Service User A had no problems with everyday tasks and that Service User A’s carer had noted a marked deterioration in his cognitive functioning and that she was having to prompt him more with everyday tasks such as dressing and eating
iii. noted that the Mini Mental Health State Examination Score was 6/30 and that Service User A was unable to complete the MMSE
c) Did not provide further detail about the Mini Mental Health State Examination score of 6/30 in the Specialist Assessment
d) Did not carry out a Carers Assessment for Service User A’s carer at all
e) (Not proved)
f) You were aware of a specific risk of violent behaviour but you did not pass on these concerns to the respite care facility
g) Did not adequately manage the breakdown in respite care for Service user A
h) (Not proved)
i) Left a Carer’s Assessment Form with Service User A’s carer for her to complete, when you should have done this yourself or assisted her in completing.
j) Did not inform your manager about incidents of actual and/or threatened violence
k) Did not prepare a Risk Management Plan until 15 December 2011
l) Did not prepare an adequate Risk Management Plan in that;
i. The incorrect form was used
ii. Service User A’s wife was not identified as being at risk
iii. It did not describe the risk history accurately
iv. It did not outline any monitoring or review arrangements
v. It did not identify what additional input would be provided
m) Did not produce a Carer’s Support Plan
n) Did not carry out regular planned home visits
2. In respect of Service User B, you
a) Did not complete a FACE Risk Assessment on 10 April 2012 when you carried out the Specialist Assessment
b) Produced an inadequate FACE Risk Assessment on 16 April 2012, in that you;
i. did not include relevant previous information from the earlier Risk Profile
ii. (Not proved)
iii. recommended inappropriate services, namely the sitting service
iv. (Not proved)
c) Did not carry out or offer a Carer’s Assessment for Service User B’s wife
d) Did not carry out sufficiently regular home visits
e) Did not develop a Risk Management Plan
f) Recorded that Service User B had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication when he was in fact prescribed Diazepam, a Benzodiazepine
g) (Not proved)
3. In respect of Service User D, you did not complete the Safeguarding F1 Alert Form as required
4. In respect of Service User E, you;
a) (Not proved)
b) did not complete MCA1 and MCA2 Forms to accompany the Support Plan
5. In respect of Service User G, you did not carry out the Continuing Health Care Assessment until 22 May 2012, despite being asked to carry it out in or around 3 March 2012.
6. In respect of Service User H, you;
a) did not complete a Social Circumstances Report in a timely manner
b) did not provide an adequate Social Circumstances Report
c) provided incorrect advice to a relative of Service User H, namely that the information he disclosed would not be disclosed to the service user
7. In respect of Service User I you did not provide an adequate Social Circumstances Report.
8. In respect of Service User Q, you;
a) Did not update the electronic casework file with the F1 Safeguarding Form for the two incidents relating to Service User C and Service User P
b) Did not inform Service User Q’s social worker about the incident until prompted, which was approximately a month after it had taken place
9. In respect of Service User O, the FACE Risk Assessment you carried out was inadequate in that you;
a) (Not proved)
b) did not record the significant memory problems you had identified in your Specialist Assessment
10. Did not send letters to service user's General Practitioners in a timely fashion, in particular for;
a) Service User E
b) Service User F
c) Service User J
11. You prepared letters to service user’s General Practitioners which did not follow the Council template and/or lacked adequate details, in particular for;
a) Service User E
b) Service User F
c) Service User J
d) Service User K
12. You produced inadequate Supported Assessment Questionnaires for;
a) Service User N
b) Service User L
c) (Not proved)
13. You produced inadequate Support Plans for;
a) (Not proved)
b) Service User E
14. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 13 constitute lack of competence and/or misconduct
15. By reason of your misconduct and/or lack of competence your fitness to practise is impaired.
Proof of 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 first class post by a letter dated 10 March 2017. The Panel was satisfied that notice had been properly served as required by the Rules.
Proceeding in absence
2. Mr Demissie 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 had regard to an email from the Registrant dated 22 May 2017 which is addressed to the Panel and confirms that the Registrant will neither be in attendance nor represented today. He asked the Panel to conclude this case by approving a Voluntary Removal Agreement (VRA) entered into by him. The Panel decided that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself from today’s hearing and that he was not making a request for an adjournment. The Panel noted that the purpose of this hearing was to consider the terms of a VRA agreed between the HCPC and the Registrant which had been signed by him. Accordingly, there was no prejudice to the Registrant in proceeding today. 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.
4. The case against the Registrant arose from his employment as a Band 9 Social Worker employed by North Tyneside Council between 2000 and 2012 in the Psychiatry of Old Age Service. As part of that team, the Registrant worked with older service users with functional or organic mental health difficulties and their families and/ or carers. Concerns were raised about the Registrant’s practice. The Registrant was placed on a personal improvement plan. Additional support was put in place by way of supervision with the Registrant’s line manager, and a reduced workload. His employer considered that the Registrant had not met the standards required. He was given a written improvement notice and was progressed to a second performance improvement plan. Despite continuing support in the form of increased supervision, and a reduced workload, his employer considered that the Registrant did not meet the standards required and the matter was progressed to a formal improvement meeting. As a result, the Registrant was dismissed on 4 August 2012.
5. At a final hearing between 3 and 6 August 2015, a Panel found the following particulars not proved: 1(e), 1(h), 2(b)(ii), 2(b)(iii), 2(b)(iv), 2(g), 4(a), 9(a), 12(d) and 13(a). The remaining particulars were found proved. The Panel found that the proven facts demonstrated a lack of competence and that as a result the Registrant’s fitness to practice at the time of that hearing was impaired. The final hearing Panel imposed a 12 month Suspension Order.
6. On 4 August 2016 a second Panel reviewed the Suspension Order, found the Registrant’s fitness to practice remained impaired, and extended the Suspension Order for a further 12 months.
7. The Panel heard submissions from Mr Demissie who submitted that the HCPC was satisfied that voluntary removal from the Register was an appropriate disposal of this case and would not compromise public protection or the wider public interest. He reminded the Panel that the effect of a VRA is the same as a strike-off from the Register following a finding of impairment of fitness to practice. He submitted that if the VRA was approved by the Panel, the current Suspension Order would need to be revoked.
8. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.
9. The Panel reminded itself of the guidance offered in the HCPC Practice Note entitled “Disposal of Cases by Consent”.
10. The Panel took into account several emails from the Registrant to the HCPC, including those dated from 2016 onwards, in which the Registrant requested that he be voluntarily removed. In the email of 22 May 2017 the Registrant reiterates that he has not practised as a social worker for nearly 5 years, and has no wish to do so. The Registrant has also confirmed in an email dated 25 July 2016 that he has retired. The Registrant and the HCPC have both signed a VRA dated 7 April 2017.
11. The Panel noted the facts which were proved in the substantive hearing in August 2015, with impairment found to exist and a sanction of suspension for 12 months imposed. A review hearing also took place in August 2016 which the Registrant attended. The Panel noted at this hearing that the Registrant had demonstrated a greater degree of acceptance of the findings against him than he had in the past. The Registrant has subsequently signed the VRA which indicates his acceptance of the matters found proved and the substantive Panel’s decision.
12. The Panel was satisfied that the public would be protected, and the public interest served, by the Voluntary Removal Agreement. The wider public interest includes maintaining confidence in the profession and in the regulator, and upholding proper professional standards of conduct and performance. In coming to this decision, the Panel took into account the Registrant’s representations about the fact that he does not wish to return to the profession.
13. The Panel notes from the Practice Note on Disposal of Cases by Consent that where an order such as a suspension order is in place, a VRA cannot take effect unless those proceedings are withdrawn or a Panel revokes the order. For the reasons set out above, the Panel concluded that it would not undermine public protection, or the wider public interest if the current Suspension Order is revoked.
14. For all these reasons, the Panel revokes the current Suspension Order immediately, and approves the signed Voluntary Removal Agreement dated 7 April 2017.
The Registrar is directed to revoke the current Suspension Order and hereby remove the name of Mr Brian Allerdyce from the Register with immediate effect.