Mr Alfred Dabi

: Social worker

: SW89947

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 13/11/2017 End: 17:00 16/11/2017

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Struck off

Allegation

During the course of your contract between 5 October 2012 and 30 September 2013, as an Agency Social Worker with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and while employed as a Social Worker by London

Borough of Barking and Dagenham between 1 October 2013 and 20 July 2015, you:

1. Told professionals that you were related to Service User 1 by marriage to his daughter, which was untrue:

a) On 6 July 2012, in a telephone call;

b) On 16 December 2012, at the Royal London Hospital during an assessment of Service User 1's mental health by Doctor C;

c) On 13 March 2013, during a review undertaken at Service User 1's residence by Colleague 2;

d) On 6 July 2012 and 31 August 2012, when consulted by Tower Hamlets First Response Team who were trying to organise an assessment of Service User 1

e) On or around 10 October 2012, signed a form (Notification Form: Provisional Financial Assessment) in the presence of Colleague 1 confirming that you were:

i. Service User 1's son-in-law;

ii. Service User 1's next of kin.

2. Did not make appropriate disclosures to colleagues, in that you did not disclose:

a) Your professional status as a social worker after October 2012, to staff at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets;

b) Your professional status as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and student Social Worker during 2011 and 2012, when dealing with Service User 1's financial relationships with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets;

c) Your relationship to a service user who was subject to safeguarding alerts, to your employer, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham in 2012 or 2014.

3. On 8 October 2012, applied for financial assistance from London Borough of Tower Hamlets as Service User 1’s next of kin, but you made no arrangement to pay the required contribution to Service User 1’s accommodation (Peter Shore Court), resulting in arrears of approximately

£3k.

4. On or before 29 August 2012, you visited Service User 1 in Hospital in company with a Day Centre Officer from St Hilda’s Day Centre, TH:1, despite knowing that following a safeguarding investigation in 2010:

a) TH:1 had been instructed by her employer not to have contact with Service User 1; and/or

b) TH:1 was suspected of having an inappropriate financial relationship with Service User 1

5. In or around October 2012, you

a) added your name to the bank account of Service User 1 to become the joint account holder, and/or

b) were unable to satisfactorily explain cash withdrawals you made from the account.

6. Knew that TH1 was named with you as joint account holders on Service User 1’s bank account, but did not disclose this information

a) to the Hospital and/or

b) to Social Workers at L.B. Tower Hamlets

7. The matters set out in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 b) and 6 above were dishonest.

8. The matters set out in paragraphs 1 - 7 constitute misconduct.

Finding

Preliminary Matters

Service
1. The Panel had sight of a letter dated 3 August 2017, sent to the Registrant
at his registered address, giving notice of today’s hearing, and determined
that service had been properly complied with in accordance with the
requirements of Rules 3 and 10 of the Health Professions Council Rules
2003 (“the Rules”).

Proceeding in absence

2. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, who took the Panel
to the Practice Direction on Proceeding in the Absence of the Registrant,
to Rule 11 and to the guidance given in the cases of Jones (2003) 1 AC 1,
Tait –v The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [2003] UKPC 34 and
GMC – v Adeogba [2016] EWCA Civ 162.

3. The Panel concluded that the Registrant had been properly served with
the notice of hearing. There had been no communication from the
Registrant. He had not made an application to adjourn and the Panel
decided that it was unlikely that he would attend if the matter were to be
adjourned. The Panel concluded that he had absented himself voluntarily
from the proceedings. The Panel noted that there were three witnesses
ready to give evidence and that the events in question took place between
2012 and 2014. The Panel concluded that it was in the public interest for
the matter to be heard expeditiously. Accordingly, the Panel decided to
proceed today in the absence of the Registrant.

Application to amend the allegation

4. Ms Shameli, on behalf of the HCPC, applied at the commencement of the
proceedings to amend the allegation to the particulars set out above.

5. The Panel concluded that all the proposed amendments were based on an
accurate and fair reflection of the evidence the HCPC proposed to call,
and did not increase the scope of the allegation. Three of the proposed
amendments were clearly to the Registrant’s advantage in that they
removed particulars that were once alleged but are unsupported by
evidence. The Panel decided that it was in the interests of justice to allow
the amendments in their entirety. Accordingly, it allowed Ms Shameli’s
application in full.

Application to adduce further material

6. Ms Shameli applied to introduce redacted copies of the police interviews
conducted with the Registrant on 4 December 2014 and 5 August 2015.
She informed the Panel that the transcripts had been served on the
Registrant in the course of earlier proceedings in connection with this
case.

7. The Panel decided to allow this application. The Registrant had been
provided with the relevant material. The Panel had been informed that
parts of the interview assisted the Registrant, although it was the view of
the Panel that there were also parts that did not assist him. The Panel was
satisfied that the subject matter of the interviews was of direct relevance to
the central issue in the current hearing, and that it would be in the overall
interests of justice to admit the material.


Witnesses

8. The Panel heard live evidence from:

Colleague 1 – Social Worker employed by the Tower Hamlets Local
Authority.
Colleague 2 – Social Worker employed by the Tower Hamlets Local
Authority.
Witness 3 - Independent Investigator contracted (at the time of the
investigation) by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Council.

Background

9. The Registrant was employed as an Agency Social Worker with the
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham from 5 October 2012 to 30
September 2013.

10. In November 2014, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets informed the
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham that an investigation had
begun into the Registrant’s relationship with Service User 1, an elderly
vulnerable client who had been cared for by the Registrant in the course of
his social work placement with Tower Hamlets.

The Panel heard that Service User 1 was an elderly man who died in a
hospice on 18 March 2014, having previously resided in a care home.
Following his death, concerns were raised about the possible financial
abuse of Service User 1 by the Registrant, which caused a safeguarding
referral to be made to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in April
2014.

12. On 12 November 2014, a multi-agency Safeguarding Strategy Meeting
was held. It was established that the Registrant was a social worker
employed by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham at the time of
Service User 1’s death. The Registrant had been introduced to Service
User 1 whilst on a placement as a student social worker and had
maintained a relationship with him until his death.

13. It was alleged that the Registrant had held himself out to be Service User
1’s son-in-law, although he was not related to him in any way. It was
alleged that while holding himself out to be Service User 1’s son-in-law
and next of kin, he had handled his financial affairs, in that he had access
to Service User 1’s bank account and had been handling his money for a
number of years, withdrawing significant sums of cash from the account,
when there was no apparent reason for doing so.

14. It was alleged, further, that the Registrant did not tell any professionals
involved in Service User 1’s care that he was a registered social worker,
nor did he disclose that he was a registered mental health nurse. Also, it is
alleged that the Registrant did not disclose safeguarding concerns
regarding his relationship with a service user to his employer.

15. The Panel was informed that a police investigation was launched, but the
decision was made not to bring criminal proceedings against the
Registrant. The Panel was provided with copies of transcripts of two of the
Registrant’s interview with the police.

16. The Panel was informed that a Disciplinary Investigation Meeting was held
on 22 April 2015 in which the Registrant explained that he had formed a
personal attachment to Service User 1 and had helped him, for example,
visiting his home to check on his wellbeing, accompanying him to the day
centre and to the bank, and assisting him with his change of
accommodation to an extra care scheme. The Registrant accepted, upon
reflection, that in the future he would ensure that he maintained a balance
in his involvement with service users and would not allow his individual
values and beliefs to “mar good relationship based on social work
practice”. However, he did not accept that he had told anyone that he was
related to Service User 1 by marriage to Service User 1’s daughter, and
whilst he accepted that he had taken money from Service User 1’s
account, he claimed that he had done so with consent and denied that he
had stolen money or acted dishonestly in any way.

Decision on Facts

17. The Panel took into account the submissions of Ms Shameli on behalf of
the HCPC. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor, who
referred the Panel to definition of dishonesty provided by the case of Ivey v
Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [2017] UKSC 67. The Panel did
not allow the fact that the Registrant had not attended the hearing to
colour its judgement on the facts of the case in any way.

18. The Panel considered Colleague 1 to be reliable, credible and balanced in
his evidence. He was thorough in his description of events and
demonstrated no animosity towards the Registrant. He demonstrated a
good recall of the events in question.

19. The Panel considered Colleague 2 to be a reliable and credible witness.
Her evidence was clear. When she could not recollect specific details of
her interaction with the Registrant, she made this clear.

20. The Panel considered Witness 3 to be a credible, measured and reliable
witness. He gave a balanced presentation of the Registrant, including
positive aspects of the Registrant’s personality and his belief that the
Registrant did demonstrate care towards Service User 1.
Particular 1: Told professionals that you were related to Service User
1 by marriage to his daughter, which was untrue:
a) On 6 July 2012, in a telephone call

21. Colleague 1 informed the Panel that on 12 September 2012 he received a
referral regarding an elderly man, Service User 1, who had been admitted
to hospital on 26 August 2012 after being found wandering the street in a
confused state. He took the Panel to the note of the telephone call entered
in the case notes by a Ms X on 6 July 2012 entitled:

“Telephone Call Made: OT reablement tel call to son-in-law Alfred Dabi”
which stated:
“Tel call made to service user’s son-in-law Alfred Dabi following
message left to make contact. Alfred requested personal budget. OT
explained customer journey and that service user would first be
assessed by reablemetn [sic] to maximise independence and assess
for long term FAC’s eligible needs”

22. It was alleged that this record proved that the Registrant had visited and
that he had then confirmed in the course of a telephone call with the
reablement service that he was married to Service User 1’s daughter.

23. The Panel considered the entry relied on in the care notes of Service User
1 regarding the telephone conversation between a Ms X and the
Registrant. The Panel noted that it was entitled “Telephone Call Made: OT
reablement tel call to son-in-law Alfred Dabi”. The Panel also noted that
the record itself stated that Ms X had made a telephone call “to service
user’s son-in-law Alfred Dabi”. However nowhere in this note did it state
that the Registrant had told Ms X that he was the service user’s son-in8
law. The Panel had not been provided with any evidence regarding how
Ms X had formed her opinion regarding the Registrant’s status in relation
to Service User 1. On the basis of this evidence, the Panel was not
satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the Registrant had informed
her that he was the son-in law of Service User 1.

24. Accordingly, the Panel found this sub-particular not proved.
1c) On or about 12 March 2013, to Colleague 2

25. Colleague 2 was employed as a Social Worker by the London Borough of
Tower Hamlets, based in the social care team at the Royal London
Hospital. She explained that her role included assessing patients admitted
to hospital who required safeguarding support.

26. Colleague 2 stated that on 27 February 2013 she was informed that
Service User 1 had been in a residential care home for dementia since
October 2012, and was now in arrears by £3000. She said that on 5 March
2013 she was advised that the Registrant had complained about a letter
he had received detailing the outstanding bill for £3000, as he had been
advised that there would be no client contribution. She asserted that on 12
March 2013, she received a telephone call from the Registrant saying that
he wanted to discuss the financial arrangements, and later that day she
conducted a meeting with Service User 1 at his place of residence,
together with the Registrant and a Team Leader.

27. Colleague 2 said that she had always assumed that the Registrant was
Service User 1’s son-in-law based on the records and because during this
meeting the Registrant confirmed that he was Service User 1’s son–in–
law, and informed her that he had separated from Service User 1’s
daughter and that she now lived in America. Colleague 2 also asserted
that the Registrant said that he was the main carer.
28. Colleague 2 took the Panel to the entry in the case notes which she had
made in relation to this visit on 12 March 2013 which stated:
“Home visit completed on 12/3/13: Review completed with Mr Dabi –
next of kin….”

29. The Panel noted the entry made by Colleague 2 in the case notes.
Further, the Panel noted that in the course of giving live evidence before
the Panel, Colleague 2 stated that at the meeting the Registrant
introduced himself as Service User 1’s son-in-law and said that he was
separated from Service User 1’s daughter. She went on to say that the
Registrant told her that “in our culture we still say son-in-law”. Colleague 2
stated that she very clear in her recollection of these events and in
particular the Registrant’s introduction of himself.

30. On the basis of the written records and live evidence the Panel found this
sub-particular proved.

1d) On 6 July 2012 and/or 31 August 2012, to Tower Hamlets First
Response Team

31. The Panel was taken to an entry in the case notes dated 31 August 2012
made by a Mr Y entitled:

“First Response (Adults): Referral from 11C”
and which included the following entry:
“Phone call to Alfred Dabi who confirmed he had been married to Patient A
[Service User 1’s] daughter”

32. The Panel heard that occupational therapy was part of the first response
team.

33. The Panel accepted that the entry in the case notes dated 31 August 2012
had been made by a professional in the course of his professional duties
and concluded that there was no reason to suppose that any professional
would have any reason to fabricate an entry relating to the Registrant. By
contrast with the note relied on in seeking to prove sub-particular 1(a), the
note of 31 August 2012, relied on in this instance recorded the Registrant’s
own words about his relationship with Service User 1.

34. On that basis the Panel found this sub-particular proved.
Particular 2: On or around 8 October 2012, you signed a form
(Notification Form: Provisional Financial Assessment) in the
presence of Colleague 1 confirming that you were:
a) Service User 1's son-in-law and/or;
b) Service User 1's next of kin.

35. Colleague 1 informed the Panel that on 8 October 2012 at Royal London
Hospital as part of the assessment process Colleague 1 completed a form
entitled “Notification form; Provisional Financial Assessment” which was
signed by the Registrant on behalf of Service User 1. The form confirmed
agreement with the assessment. The Panel had sight of the form, part of
which had a section entitled “Next of Kin”, in which the Registrant’s name
had been entered, together with a description of his relationship with
Service User 1, which was given as “Son-in-Law”.

36. Witness 3 took the Panel to the notes of the Disciplinary Investigation
Meeting in which the Registrant admitted signing the “Notification form;
Provisional Financial Assessment”, but the Registrant stated that he
“honestly did not know why” he had signed off that he was Service User
1’s son-in-law.

37. The Panel concluded that the form had been signed by the Registrant on
behalf of Service User 1 in the presence of Colleague 1, who gave live
evidence to this effect. This form included a section entitled “Next of Kin” in
which The Registrant is described as “Son-In-Law”.

38. The Panel concluded on the balance of probabilities on the basis of this
evidence that on or around 8 October 2012 the Registrant had signed a
form “Notification form; Provisional Financial Assessment” in the presence
of Colleague 1 confirming that he was Service User 1’s son-in-law and his
next of kin. The Panel took into account the Registrant’s response in the
course of the Disciplinary Investigation Meeting, together with the fact that
he had denied ever representing that he was related to Service User 1 by
marriage to Service User 1’s daughter. The Panel preferred the oral
evidence provided by Colleague 1 supported by the evidence contained in
the form itself.

39. Accordingly, the Panel found sub-particulars 2(a) and 2(b) proved.
Particular 3: Did not make appropriate disclosures to colleagues, in
that you did not disclose:
a) Your professional status as a social worker after October 2012, to
staff at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets
b) Your professional status as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and
student Social Worker during 2011 and 2012, to the London Borough
of Tower Hamlets
c) Your relationship to Service User 1, who was subject to
safeguarding alerts, to your employer, the London Borough of
Barking and Dagenham, between approximately 2012 to 2014.

40. Colleague 1 informed the Panel that at no time did the Registrant ever
inform Colleague 1 that he was not Service User 1’s son-in-law, nor did he
indicate that he was a social worker or a registered nurse, nor did
Colleague 1 ever form the opinion that the Registrant was a social worker
as the Registrant did not give the impression that he understood the
process, which Colleague 1 therefore felt obliged to explain to him.

41. By way of specific example, Colleague 1 informed the Panel that on 26
October 2012 he received a telephone call from the Registrant who raised
some issues regarding Service User 1’s placement at his residential care
home. Colleague 1 said he explained to the Registrant about the
safeguarding adult investigation, to which the Registrant said that no one
had contacted him. Colleague 1 said that the Registrant did not advise
Colleague 1 that he was a social worker or a registered nurse, and that
had he done so Colleague 1 would have ensured that the relevant
authorities were advised.

42. Colleague 2 also informed the Panel that at no time did the Registrant ever
inform her that he was a social worker or a registered nurse.

43. The Panel was taken to the record of the Disciplinary Investigation
Meeting in which the Registrant accepted that he had never disclosed to
anyone involved with Service User 1 that he was a social worker. He
accepted that he believed that he would have been treated differently if the
social worker team had thought that he was a social worker rather than
Service User 1’s son-in-law.

44. The Panel accepted the evidence of Colleague 1 and 2, together with the
admissions made by the Registrant in the course of the Disciplinary
Investigation Meeting, and the relevant care notes.

45. The Panel accepted the written statement of Colleague 1, in which he
stated that at no time did the Registrant say that he was a social worker or
Registered Nurse. Colleague 1 confirmed this evidence in the course of
his live evidence. The Panel also accepted the evidence of Colleague 2
that the Registrant never advised her that he was a social worker or
Registered Nurse. The Panel took into account that during his interview
with Witness 3 the Registrant was asked if he had ever disclosed to
anybody that he was a social worker, and had replied that he had not and
that he knew in hindsight that he should have done so.

46. On the basis of this evidence the Panel found sub-particulars 3 (a), 3(b)
and 3(c) proved.
Particular 4: On 8 October 2012, applied for financial assistance from
London Borough of Tower Hamlets as Service User 1’s next of kin,but you made no arrangement to pay the required contribution to
Service User 1’s accommodation.

47. Colleague 1 informed the Panel that the form entitled “Notification form;
Provisional Financial Assessment”, which the Registrant signed on behalf
of Service User 1, had a section entitled “Next of kin” in which the
Registrant’s name was provided, with a description of his relationship as
“Son-In-Law”.

48. Witness 3 took the Panel to the notes of the Disciplinary Investigation
Meeting in which the Registrant admitted signing the financial assessment
form.

49. Colleague 1 informed the Panel that on 23 April 2013 he received an
email from the Income and Assessment Team, which he produced for the
Panel, stating:

“Please see attached letter being sent to Service User 1 next of kin.
Please note that he has made no payment of client contributions and still
not returned the Direct Debit form sent to him to set up ongoing
payments”.

50. Colleague 1 said that he contacted the Registrant and explained to him the
importance of the contributions and that the Registrant seemed to
understand this.

51. Colleague 1 said in evidence that he was unable to confirm whether the
Registrant did in fact make the contributions.

52. The Panel considered with care the Financial Assessment form. This form
was used to assess the amount that Service User 1 would be asked to pay
for the personal care, domestic help and support service that he would
receive in Extra Care Sheltered Housing. The Panel took into account the
email from the Senior Income Officer, at the London Borough of Tower
Hamlets, dated 23 April 2013, to Colleague 1, stating that the Registrant
had made no payment of client contributions and had still not returned the
Direct Debit form sent to him to set up ongoing payments. The Panel had
heard evidence that the Registrant took control of Service User 1’s
finances sometime between August 2012 and February 2013.

53. On the basis of the evidence the Panel found this particular proved.
Particular 6: Between August 2012 and February 2013, you added
your name to the bank account of Service User 1 to become the joint
account holder

54. Witness 3 informed the Panel that his investigation confirmed that the
Registrant became a joint account holder of Service User 1’s bank account
sometime between August 2012 and February 2013.

55. The Panel had sight of the notes of the Disciplinary Investigation Meeting
in which the Registrant stated that he had gone to the bank together with
Service User 1 and set up a joint account. He stated that Service User 1
had been “normal on the day” and that if he had had any concerns he
would not have gone ahead with this. The Registrant stated that in
hindsight he should not have done this.

56. The Panel was also provided with copies of statements from the joint bank
account in the name of Service User 1 and the Registrant from 20 July
2012 to 19 February 2014. There was a chronological gap in these
statements from 20 August 2012 until 20 February 2013, the latter being
the first statement on which the Registrant appeared as a joint account
holder.

57. The Panel took account of the notes of the Disciplinary Investigation
Meeting in which the Registrant was asked to explain the process he went
through to change Service User 1’s bank account to a joint account with
himself, to which he stated that he went to the bank together with Service
User 1, produced the documentation required and the account was set up.
The Panel also took account of the bank statements which showed the
Registrant as a joint account holder.

58. On the basis of this evidence the Panel found that between August 2012
and February 2013 the Registrant added his name to the bank account of
Service User 1 to become the joint account holder, and found this subparticular
proved.

Particular 7: Between July 2012 and March 2014, you:
a) made cash withdrawals from the account for your own personal
gain and/or
b) were unable to satisfactorily explain the cash withdrawals you had
made.

59. The Panel was also provided with copies of the joint bank account in the
name of Service User 1 and the Registrant from 20 July 2012 to 19
February 2014. Witness 3 asserted that the statements showed
substantial withdrawals between 20 December 2013 and 20 January 2014.
He said that his analysis of the accounts revealed that towards the latter
end of the period, when Service User 1 was in hospice and ill, there was
significantly more money taken out than previously and that money was
spent, for example, at service stations and shops such as Argos and
Specsavers. He said that there was a dramatic increase in the account
usage at this time.

60. Witness 3 informed the Panel that in the course of the Disciplinary
Investigation Meeting the Registrant stated that he was the only individual
who had access to the account and had used it to purchase items for
Service User 1. Witness 3 asserted that the Registrant was unable to
explain the significant increase in withdrawals between December 2013
and January 2014, just prior to Service User 1’s death.

61. The Panel referred to the record of the Disciplinary Investigation Meeting
in which, when asked whether he had made any cash withdrawals, the
Registrant said that Service User 1 would ask him to get cash out to get
shopping. He said that whatever money was left over he would place in
Service User 1’s drawer.

62. During the course of one of his interviews with the Police, the Registrant
was asked:
“So roughly, on a weekly basis, do you know how much you’d spend?”
The Registrant’s response was:
“Maybe about £30 or £40 or less. It varies.”
Later in the interview the Registrant admitted that some of the money he
withdrew was used for his own purposes although he stated that:
“most of the monies that came out of [Service User 1’s] account was
spent on him.”
The Registrant went on during the course of his interview of 5 August 2015
to describe how Service User 1 would voluntarily give him money as
thanks for the care that the Registrant was providing for him. At one point
15
the Registrant was asked about the nature of the consent for withdrawing
money to which he responded:
“There were even times when - even when I’d even go to the cash
point for [Service User 1] and I want - I put the money in his .......he’d
go like, ‘No you keep it, because you’re the one taking care of me. You
keep it.....It’s - how - what kind of relationship would you have with your
dad?”
Later in the interview the Registrant said:
“Well, when I ask him for money he asks me to take it.”

63. The Panel concluded that there was clear evidence that the Registrant
withdrew cash from Service User 1’s account, with increasing frequency
over time, and that the Registrant accepted that he used some of this
money for his own purposes, albeit he claimed that this was with the
consent of Service User 1. The Panel did not find the Registrant’s
explanations plausible and found sub-particular 7(a) proved.

64. In the course of his Disciplinary Investigation Meeting interview the
Registrant was asked about £1200 that had been withdrawn from Service
User 1’s account in December and over the holiday period. The Registrant
replied that he did not know why these withdrawals had been made and
could not remember.

65. In the Panel’s judgement the Registrant was unable to provide satisfactory
or plausible explanations regarding the large cash withdrawals he made
from Service User 1’s account and accordingly found this sub-particular
proved.

Particular 8: the matters set out in 1,2,3,6 and 7 above were
dishonest

66. In relation to Particular 1, the Panel concluded that there was no
reasonable or plausible explanation as to why the Registrant would have
held himself out as being related to Service User 1 by marriage to Service
User 1’s daughter other than a dishonest one related to his later actions
with regard to Service User 1’s financial affairs. In relation to Particular 2,
the Panel reached the same conclusion in relation to the decision made by
the Registrant to sign the Financial Assessment form in the name of
Service User 1’s son-in-law and next of kin. The Panel concluded that
having set up a joint bank account with Service User 1 it was more likely
than not that the Registrant was aware that holding himself out to be
related to Service User 1 by marriage to Service User 1’s daughter would
allow him to exercise control over Service User 1’s affairs. In truth his
involvement with Service User 1 had begun on a professional footing and
the obligation that this entailed would have led to scrutiny as to the
appropriateness of this relationship.

67. In relation to Particular 3 the Registrant came into social work training
already qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and so would have
been fully aware of the expectations of registered professionals in terms of
honesty and integrity. He qualified as a social worker prior to the period of
time in question and despite repeated opportunities over a prolonged
period of time failed to declare his professional status as a social worker
and Registered Mental Health Nurse to staff at the London Borough of
Tower Hamlets. In his disciplinary interview the Registrant accepted that
he should have done so. Given his two professional registrations, the
Registrant would have been well aware of the importance and necessity to
declare to his employer, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham,
that his relationship with Service User 1 was subject to safeguarding
alerts. The Panel concluded that he knew that what he was doing was
contrary to accepted practice, and that his reason for failing to declare his
true identity was financially motivated.

68. In relation to Particular 4, the Panel concluded that there was insufficient
evidence to prove that the fact that the Registrant made no arrangement to
pay the required contribution was due to a dishonest motive on his part.
Whilst the Panel had found that the Registrant had falsely described his
relationship to Service User 1 on the Financial Assessment Form, no
evidence had been presented to suggest that the Registrant provided
social services with any false or misleading information in relation to the
financial assessment that would have lowered the contribution to be paid
by Service User 1. There was mixed evidence in the case notes regarding
the issue of financial contributions to Service User 1’s accommodation
costs. On 4 March 2013 there is an email stating that the Registrant had
made contact with social services regarding the Assessment letter sent.
The Registrant had stated that he was very concerned regarding client
contributions as Colleague 1 had assured him that there was no client
contribution to be paid but he had received a bill for over £3000. Service
User 1 had been in the residential home since October 2012 and it
appeared that the contribution level was not decided until February 2013,
which led to the large arrears.

69. Given the case notes evidencing the delay in the assessment process and
that it appears that the Registrant only became aware of these arrears and
the final contribution level required in around February 2013 and that in
early March 2013 the Registrant was still disputing the level of payment
required of Service User 1, the Panel concluded that despite the other
instances of dishonesty found against the Registrant the HCPC had failed
to prove that the Registrant’s actions in this instance were dishonest.

70. In relation to Particular 6 the Panel concluded that at the time of these
events the Registrant was a Registered Mental Health Nurse and a
registered social worker. His training and experience would have given
him extensive knowledge of issues in relation to mental capacity and
safeguarding vulnerable adults. The Panel concluded that dishonesty with
regard to this Particular had to be considered in the context of the
Registrant falsely holding himself out as Service User 1’s son-in-law and
getting himself into a position where he was able to exercise significant, if
not total, control of Service User 1’s affairs. The facts found proved in
relation to Particular 7, whereby the Registrant withdrew significant
amounts of cash from Service User 1’s account, are also relevant since
this was only made possible by the setting up of the joint account. The
Panel found that dishonesty was made out.

71. The Panel concluded, in relation to Particular 7, that the Registrant made
cash withdrawals for his own personal gain with no satisfactory
explanation for doing so. The Panel concluded that the Registrant knew
that he was acting without Service User 1’s consent and concluded that
his conduct was quite obviously dishonest by the standards of ordinary
decent people. The Panel therefore found that dishonesty was made out.

Decision on Grounds

72. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor who addressed the
Panel on the meaning of misconduct and impairment. She referred to the
cases of R-v- Roylance –v- General Medical Council No 2 [2001] 1 AC
p311 and Grant ([Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence v (1)
Nursing and Midwifery council (20 Paula Grant [2011] EWHC 927]) and
Yeong –v- GMC [2009] EWHC 1923.

73. The Panel concluded that having found dishonesty in relation to
Particulars 1(c), 1(d), 2(a), 2(b), 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 6, 7(a) and 7(b), the
threshold for misconduct had been met. Taken as a whole the Registrant’s
behaviour represents a premeditated and systematic course of action
designed to deprive a vulnerable and elderly service user, who was of
questionable mental capacity, of his financial resources. The Panel had
heard that the Registrant’s actions also likely deprived Service User 1’s
daughter of some of her inheritance and also likely deterred social
services from seeking her out as the next of kin during the latter part of
Service User 1’s life. The Registrant’s actions fell far below that to be
expected of a registered professional and were very serious. This is an
instance where the Registrant’s conduct can properly be described as
deplorable and disgraceful.

74. In relation to Particular 4, the Panel had made no finding of dishonesty.
The Panel concluded that the threshold for misconduct had not been met,
although the Registrant had failed to discharge his responsibilities on
behalf of Service User 1 in a timely manner. In reaching its decision the
Panel took account of the evidence from Service User 1’s case notes
which indicate that there was a substantial delay from Service User 1
moving into his accommodation at the extra care scheme in October 2012
until the financial assessment panel met in the week prior to 27 February
2013. The delay in the convening of the panel was responsible for the
substantial arrears which accumulated during this period. In the case note
dated 27 February 2013 Colleague 2 records a telephone call from the
Senior Income Officer in which she stated:
“Patient A has been in (name of extra care scheme) since October 12
but only just went to the panel last week. Therefore there is an arrears
of £3,000.00 and she is going to write to the family about this. She is
worried that the family might not be happy about this.”

75. Although the Panel has found that the Registrant did not discharge his
responsibilities with regard to this particular in a timely manner his
shortcomings do not meet the threshold for misconduct.

Decision on Impairment

76. In considering the question of impairment the Panel was cognisant that
whilst impairment is a forward looking exercise the Panel could and should
take account of the past conduct of the Registrant.

77. The Panel first considered the personal component of impairment. In doing
so it first considered whether the conduct found proved is easily
remediable, second, whether it had been remedied and third, whether it is
highly unlikely to be repeated.

78. The Panel was of the view that the Registrant’s conduct was not easily
remediable. It had found that the Registrant undertook a premeditated
course of dishonest action, largely motivated by the prospect of financial
gain. The Registrant had not made any submissions to the hearing or
engaged in any way with the fitness to practise process and therefore the
only information the Panel had before it regarding his view of his actions
was contained within his responses as part of the employer disciplinary
investigation meeting and his police interviews. The Panel was of the view
that many of the Registrant’s responses during these interviews were less
than candid and were designed to minimise the gravity of his actions and
present himself as a caring, altruistic individual who made some wellmeaning
errors of judgement, rather than a person engaged in financial
abuse of a vulnerable and elderly service user. In his interviews and
reflective statement the Registrant expressed no remorse and showed
little if any insight into the ramifications of his actions as to the impact on
Service User 1 and his family.

79. As such the Panel concluded that the Registrant’s conduct has not been
remedied and that there is a high risk of repetition and that he is impaired
on the Personal Component.

80. In considering the public component the Panel took account of the test in
relation to impairment set out by Dame Janet Smith in the 5th Shipman
enquiry. In the Panel’s judgement the Registrant has acted in such a way
as to put service users at unwarranted risk of harm. By misrepresenting
himself and misusing a Service User’s money the Registrant’s conduct has
brought the profession into disrepute and as such he has breached a
fundamental tenet of the profession.

81. In the Panel’s judgement the Registrant has violated a fundamental rule
regarding the relationship between a registered professional and a service
user. His actions have been detrimental to the welfare of a vulnerable
service user and undermined confidence in the profession and, as
such, the Panel finds that he is impaired on the public component.

Decision on Sanction

82. In considering what sanction, if any, to impose, the Panel accepted the
advice of the Legal Assessor and referred to the Indicative Sanctions
Policy.

83. The Panel bore in mind that its purpose was not to be punitive, but to
protect the public interest. It understood that it must act proportionately,
balancing the interests of the Registrant with those of the public. It
considered the range of available sanctions in ascending order of
seriousness, starting with the option of taking no action.

84. The Panel regarded the following to be mitigating features:

 the Registrant appeared to have provided genuine care for Service
User 1 in the early stages of the relationship
 with hindsight, the Registrant recognised that he had breached
professional boundaries.

85. The Panel found the following to be aggravating factors:
 the Registrant had abused the trust of an extremely vulnerable,
isolated service user, in relation to whom there were concerns
regarding mental capacity
 the dishonesty had continued over a prolonged period of time
 the Registrant had been motivated by personal gain
 the Registrant had two professional qualifications and would have been
well aware of safeguarding and mental capacity issues
 the representations made by the Registrant in the course of his
interviews suggested that he had extremely limited insight
 the Registrant had not engaged with the current proceedings.

86. In view of the seriousness of the misconduct, to take no further action, to
order mediation or to impose a caution order would not be sufficient to
protect the public or maintain confidence in the profession and the
regulatory process. It could not be said that the misconduct was isolated or
minor. There was a high risk of recurrence. The Registrant had shown no
evidence of remediation and had demonstrated extremely limited insight.

87. The Panel considered a Conditions of Practice Order, but concluded that
this would not be sufficient in light of the seriousness of the dishonesty and
the lack of remediation. There had been serious and persistent failings and
the risk of repetition was high. In any event, such an order would not be
workable in light of the Panel’s findings, and the Registrant’s lack of
engagement, because the Panel could not trust the Registrant to abide by
any conditions.

88. The Panel considered a Suspension Order and concluded that this was
not sufficient as there had been serious dishonesty involving a breach of
trust, with no evidence of remediation and very limited insight. The risk of
repetition was high. Furthermore, the public interest would not be satisfied
by such an order in light of the seriousness of the dishonesty.


89. For the reasons set out in this determination the Panel concluded that a
striking off order was the only appropriate order in the serious
circumstances of this case. The Registrant’s misconduct amounted to
serious dishonesty involving a breach of trust in relation to a vulnerable
service user for personal gain over a prolonged period of time. The
Registrant had not remediated his failings, and had shown extremely
limited insight. He had denied his actions throughout.

90. Further the Panel concluded that any lesser sanction would undermine
confidence in the profession. In light of the seriousness of the Registrant’s
actions, a striking off order was necessary to reaffirm clear standards of
professional conduct in order to maintain public confidence in the
profession and the regulatory process.

Order

The Panel decided to strike the Registrant from the HCPC register.

Notes

The Panel imposed an interim suspension order to cover the appeal period.  

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Mr Alfred Dabi

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
13/11/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Struck off
19/10/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
18/07/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
28/04/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
10/02/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
18/11/2016 Investigating committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
07/11/2016 Investigating committee Interim Order Review Hearing has not yet been held
22/08/2016 Investigating committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
02/03/2016 Investigating committee Interim Order Application Interim Suspension