Eric Brooks Rutherford

: Social worker

: SW33890

Interim Order: Imposed on 24 Jan 2017

: Final Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 03/01/2018 End: 17:00 03/01/2018

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Voluntary Removal agreed

Allegation

Whilst registered as a Social Worker and employed by Nottingham County Council:

 

1. Between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016 in relation to Service User A, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 2 classification;

 

b. Did not complete a Community Care Assessment and Support Plan by 12 October 2015;

 

c. Did not contact and/or did not record contact with SAFFA for support;

 

d. Did not seek medical information to accompany the Housing Application;

 

2. In relation to Service User B, you:

a. Did not register the case to yourself as named worker when originally allocated to you on 24 March 2015;

 

b. Did not visit Service User B at the care home in a timely manner until 7 August 2015;

 

c. Did not complete the Mental Capacity Assessment in a timely manner until 17 November 2015;

 

d. Did not complete the Best Interest Checklist in a timely manner until 3 December 2015;

 

e. Did not commence the Appointeeship/Deputyship Referral in a timely manner until 3 December 2015;

 

f. Between 20 July 2015 and 4 January 2016, you did not progress the Application to Court of Protection urgently;

 

3. Between 18 May 2015 and 15 February 2016 in relation to Service User C, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 2 classification;

 

b. Did not ensure the safety and care concerns were managed urgently after the case was allocated to you on 18 May 2015;

 

c. Did not complete the Care and Support Plan in a timely manner until 7 December 2015;

 

d. Did not complete the Care and Support Assessment in a timely manner;

 

e. Did not commence the Referral for Financial Assessment in a timely manner until 16 December 2015;

 

f. Did not complete the Home Care request in a timely manner until 29 December 2015;

 

4. Between 7 June 2016 and 10 October 2016 in relation to Service User D, you:

a. Did not arrange an assessment date urgently following case allocation;

 

b. Did not commence the Financial Assessment Request in a timely

manner until 10 August 2016;

 

c. Did not apply for Short Term Care funding;

 

5. Between 18 November 2014 and on or around April 2015 in relation to Service User E, you:

a. Did not prioritise the safeguarding risks raised in or around November 2014;

 

b. Did not record details of the Decision Support Tool meeting on or around 9 January 2015;

 

c. Did not complete the Support Plan Update in a timely manner until 24 March 2015;

 

d. Did not complete the Review of the Community Care Assessment until 25 March 2015 despite Service User E’s eligibility being assessed as critical;

 

e. Did not commence the review of the Support Plan in a timely manner until 30 March 2015;

 

6. Between 4 November 2014 and 5 June 2015 in relation to Service User F, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 2 classification;

 

b. Did not complete the assessment visit by 19 November 2014 as

required;

 

c. Did not complete the Support Plan in a timely manner until 13 February 2015;

 

d. Did not complete the Community Care Assessment in a timely manner until 13 February 2015;

 

e. Did not obtain sufficient evidence to complete the Application to Panel (Care Home Placement) prior to 15 February 2015;

 

f. Did not complete the Financial Assessment Referral to Adult Care Financial Services in a timely manner;

 

7. Between 9 July 2015 and 16 November 2015 in relation to Service User G, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 2 classification;

 

b. Did not complete the Care and Support Assessment until 5 October 2015;

 

8. Between 6 November 2015 and 4 May 2016 in relation to Service User H, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 1 classification;

 

b. Did not reassess the current care arrangements and personal

contribution by Service User H and/or adjust the Support Plan prior to in or about January 2016;

 

9. Between 3 November 2015 to 11 March 2016 in relation to Service User I, you:

a. Did not maintain adequate records of the assessment with Person G;

 

b. Did not finalise the Care and Support Assessment;

 

c. Did not progress the case towards changing the care provider in a timely manner;

 

10. Between 20 January 2016 and 26 July 2016 in relation to Service User J, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 2 classification;

 

b. Did not complete a Mental Capacity assessment adequately;

 

c. Completed the Test of Capacity on or about 13 March 2016 and you:

i. Incorrectly recorded the outcome that ‘Person has capacity for decision’;

 

ii. Confirmed no further action required based on the incorrect recording of the outcome;

 

d. Did not complete the Care and Support Assessment in a timely manner until on or about 14 March 2016;

 

e. Did not complete and/or record the Best Interest Decision;

 

f. Did not complete and/or record the commissioning for Service User J’s placement;

 

11. Between 30 June 2015 and 14 December 2015 in relation to Service User K, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 2 classification;

 

b. Did not complete the Review of Care and Support Plan in a timely manner;

 

c. Did not complete and/or record a Health Needs assessment;

 

d. Did not complete and/or record a Mental Capacity Assessment;

 

12. Between 20 July 2015 and 14 October 2015 in relation to Service User L, you:

a. Did not adequately prepare for the Decision Support Tool meeting on 3 August 2015;

 

b. Did not record the assessment of social care need following the

Decision Support Tool meeting;

 

13. Between 29 January 2016 to 12 October 2016 in relation to Service User M, you:

a. Did not manage the referral adequately in accordance with the Priority 2 classification following 29 January 2016;

 

b. Did not complete the review of Care and Support Assessment

adequately;

 

c. Did not record the review or re-cost of the care package adequately;

 

14. Between 18 March 2016 and 3 October 2016 in relation to Service User N, you:

a. Did not commission services once the Care and Support Assessment was completed;

 

15. Between 31 July 2015 to 26 October 2015 in relation to Service User O, you:

a. Did not adequately record the assessment of needs on the Framework system in a timely manner;

 

b. Did not commission the care package in a timely manner;

 

16. Your actions at paragraphs 1-15 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence;

 

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

 

Finding

Service

1.       A notice of hearing dated 27 October 2017 was sent on that date to the Registrant’s registered address by first class post, giving the date, time and venue of today’s hearing. Accordingly, there has been good service of the notice of hearing.

Proceeding in Absence

2.       This hearing concerns the proposed disposal of this case by consent. Mr Mason applied to proceed in the absence of the Registrant. He informed the Panel that he had spoken to the Registrant on 2 January 2018 by telephone and the Registrant had told him that in the circumstances he did not propose to attend the hearing today.

3.       The Panel received advice from the Legal Assessor, who advised that in the light of the information provided to the Panel, the Registrant had waived his right to attend the hearing and to be represented, there being no representative present at the hearing. The Panel accepted that advice and decided to proceed in his absence.

Hearing in Private

4.       Following the advice of the Legal Assessor, the Panel decided to conduct the hearing in private insofar as matters relating to the Registrant’s health were raised, in accordance with the HCPTS’ Practice Note, Conducting Hearings in Private. 

Decision

5.       On behalf of the HCPC Mr Mason applied to withdraw the Allegation on the basis of a written Voluntary Removal Agreement (‘VRA’) made between the HCPC and the Registrant dated 17 November 2017 in which the Registrant admitted the allegation, agreed to cease practice as a Social Worker from 3 January 2018 and made a written request of the Registrar to remove his name from the HCPC Register.

6.       The Legal Assessor referred to the HCPTS’ Practice Note, Disposal of Cases by Consent and advised that the Panel should not agree to the case being disposed of by consent unless it is satisfied that the appropriate level of public protection is being secured and that doing so would not be detrimental to the wider public interest. He also advised that the terms of the VRA were effective as a matter of law. In particular, by clause 4 of the VRA, the HCPC would be entitled to deal with any application that the Registrant might make to be re-admitted to the Register as if it had been made by a person who had been struck off the register on 3 January 2018.

7.       The Allegation alleged misconduct and/or a lack of competence arising out of wide-ranging concerns relating to the Registrant’s practice as Social Worker in the period between November 2014 and October 2016, while employed by Nottinghamshire County Council. These included alleged failures to complete written work within the prescribed timescales and to the required professional standard.

8.       The Panel was satisfied that the VRA created an appropriate level of public protection and that there were no wider public interest concerns which might arise from the withdrawal of the Allegation. The Registrant has admitted the Allegation in full. He was given extensive opportunities to remedy the shortcomings in his professional competence but was unable to remedy them.  The Registrant is suffering from a medical condition that affects his ability to practice as a social worker. It is unlikely that the Registrant would be re-admitted to the practice register in view of these issues. In all the circumstances,  it would not be detrimental to public confidence in the profession if the HCPC were permitted to withdraw the Allegation.

Order

ORDER: The Registrar is directed to remove the name of Mr Eric Brooks Rutherford from the Register with immediate effect.

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 Eric Brooks Rutherford

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
03/01/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Voluntary Removal agreed
10/10/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
14/07/2017 Investigating committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
24/01/2017 Investigating committee Interim Order Application Interim Suspension