Miss Sharmiane Claudette Drackett

: Social worker

: SW06106

: Review Hearing

Date and Time of hearing:10:00 24/01/2018 End: 12:30 24/01/2018

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

: Conduct and Competence Committee
: Conditions of Practice

Allegation

During the course of your employment as a Social Worker at Coventry City Council, you:

 

1. Between around October 2010 and November 2013, did not consistently carry out and/or record statutory visits within the timescales in respect of:

(a) Service User 1;

(b) Service User 2;

(c) Service User 3;

(d) Service User 4;

(e) Service User 5;

 

2. Between around July 2012 and November 2013, did not consistently carry out and/or record initial assessments within required timescales in respect of:

(a) Service User 6;

 

3. Between around October 2012 and November 2013, did not consistently carry out and/or record core assessments within required timescales in respect of:

(a) Service User 4;

(b) Service User 7;

 

4. Sent work related emails from your personal email address on or around:

(a) 18 January 2013;

(b) 21 January 2013;

(c) 22 February 2013;

 

5. Sent confidential information by email to a council employee who works outside of the social work department on:

(a) 12 February 2013;

(b) 14 February 2013;

 

6. The matters set out in paragraphs 1-6 constitute misconduct and/or lack of competence.

 

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

Finding

Preliminary matters

Parts of the hearing to proceed in private

1. The Panel determined that the parts of the hearing where matters pertaining to the health of the Registrant were mentioned should be held in private pursuant to Rule 10(1)(a) of the Health and Care Professions Council (Conduct and Competence Committee) Procedure Rules 2003 (“Procedural Rules”).


Background

2. At the substantive hearing the following allegation was found proved against the Registrant:

During the course of your employment as a Social Worker at Coventry City Council, you:

1. Between around October 2010 and November 2013, did not consistently carry out and/or record statutory visits within the timescales in respect of:

(a) Service User 1;

(b) Service User 2;

(c) Service User 3;

(d) Service User 4;

(e) Service User 5.

2. Between around July 2012 and November 2012, did not consistently carry out and/or record initial assessments within required timescales in respect of:

(a) Service User 6;

(b) NOT PROVED.

3. Between around October 2012 and November 2012, did not consistently carry out and/or record core assessments within required timescales in respect of:

(a) Service User 4;

(b) Service User 7.

4. Sent out work related emails from your personal email address on or around:

(a) 18 January 2013;

(b) 21 January 2013

(c) 22 January 2013.

5. Sent confidential information by email to a council employee who works outside of the social work department on:

(a) 12 February 2013;

(b) 14 February 2013.

3. The substantive hearing Panel found that all of the above particulars amounted to misconduct and that the Registrant’s fitness to practise was impaired. It imposed a Suspension Order for a period of nine months.

4. At the first Review Hearing the Registrant informed the Panel that she accepted she was unable to demonstrate that her fitness to practise was no longer impaired because she had not submitted evidence to prove otherwise. She asked that the period of suspension be extended for as short a period as possible to enable her to submit such evidence.

5. That reviewing panel extended the suspension order for a further period of six months and considered that this would enable the Registrant to gather evidence of her insight and remediation and seek testimonials. 

Decision

6. The Registrant submitted a bundle of documents for the attention of this reviewing Panel.

7. Ms Dudrah, on behalf of the HCPC, outlined the background of the case and the previous reviews to the Panel. She submitted that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired, and that the documentation received from the Registrant did not demonstrate sufficient insight.

8. The Registrant gave evidence and told the Panel that she understood the importance of ensuring that timescales and visits were adhered to, and that good recordkeeping was also essential for effective and safe social work. She further said that she now understood and recognised the importance of confidentiality and that she will now ensure that confidential information was not disclosed or sent via unsecure channels.

9. The Registrant stated that she recognised that these matters arose out of her lack of organisational skills. She told the Panel that in the past, reasonable adjustments had been made for her condition.

10. The Registrant stated that she recognised that even if the Panel allowed her to return to unrestricted practise, she would nevertheless be required to undergo return to practice training as she will have been out of practice for almost five years by the time the Order lapses on 1 March 2018.


Legal Advice

11. The Legal Assessor reminded the Panel that its purpose today was to conduct a comprehensive appraisal of the evidence to determine if the Registrant is fit to return to unrestricted practice. Its role was not to conduct a rehearing of the allegations nor was it to go behind the previous findings. He advised that in carrying out this assessment, the Panel must exercise its own independent judgment.

12. The Legal Assessor advised that the Panel might find the questions formulated in the case of CHRE v NMC and Grant (2011) EWHC 927 (Admin) of some assistance, albeit slightly modified for these proceedings:
‘Does the evidence before the Panel today show that the Registrant’s fitness to practice remains impaired by reason of her misconduct in the sense that she:

a) is liable in the future to act so as to put a service user at unwarranted risk of harm; and/or

b) is liable in the future to bring the Social Worker profession into disrepute; and/or

c) is liable in the future to breach one of the fundamental tenets of the profession?”

13. The Legal Assessor advised the Panel that if it determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remained impaired, then the Panel must go on to consider what sanction, if any, should be imposed. The Legal Assessor advised that the Panel could exercise all options under Article 30 of the 2001 Order. He advised the Panel that it should bear in mind the principles of fairness and proportionality and have regard to the Indicative Sanctions Policy issued by the HCPC. He reminded the Panel that any order that it makes under Article 30 should not be punitive in purpose, and that it should be the least restrictive order that would suffice to protect the public and/or is otherwise in the public interest.


Panel’s considerations and decision

14. The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor. The Panel first considered whether the Registrant’s fitness to practise is currently impaired. The Panel took into consideration the oral testimony of the Registrant, the documentation before it, and the submissions of both parties. In particular it noted the following factors:

a) This is a case of misconduct and there is no suggestion that the Registrant lacked the requisite competence to carry out the role of a Social Worker. Hence this is a case where the Registrant’s insight is of greater importance.

b) The engagement of the Registrant with the process.

c) The Registrant’s reflective piece.

15. The Panel determined that the Registrant had demonstrated insight and understanding as to the importance of proper recordkeeping, the maintenance of confidentiality, and the adherence to the timescales for statutory visits. 

16. However, the Panel determined that the Registrant has not shown sufficient insight or remediation into the underlying cause of the misconduct found proved.  The Panel was of the view that the issues in this case may have arisen from her medical condition.

17. As such, the Panel could not be satisfied that there was no risk of repetition of the Registrant falling behind with the requirements for statutory visits and record keeping without a robust framework of support.

18. The Panel determined that the Registrant’s fitness to practise remains impaired.

19. Due to the nature of the impairment of the Registrant’s fitness to practise, the Panel determined that taking no action and allowing the Order to lapse was not appropriate. Neither would the imposition of a Caution Order be appropriate in these circumstances.

20. The Panel considered that conditions, properly drafted, could enable the Registrant to return to safe practice. Therefore the Panel determined that the appropriate and proportionate course of action is to substitute the current Suspension Order with a Conditions of Practice Order upon its expiry.

Order

Order: The Registrar is directed to annotate the Register to show that, for a period of 18 months from the date that this Order comes into effect (“the Operative Date”), you, Miss Sharmiane Claudette Drackett, must comply with the following Conditions of Practice:

1. Within the next 18 months you must attend and satisfactorily complete a course, or courses, specifically, but not limited to the following areas:

(a) organisational skills;

(b) memory strategies;

(c) planning work schedules;

(d) note-taking techniques; and

(e) working under pressure and time management.

2. The above course(s) may be undertaken as part of reasonable adjustments made in the course of your employment.

3. Once you have attended the above course(s), you must provide a reflective piece as to how you are applying what you have learnt, whether in your daily life, or in your workplace, if you are in employment.

4. You must promptly inform the HCPC when you take up further employment as a Social Worker, providing details of your employer(s) and your role.

5. When working as a Social Worker, you must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a senior social work practitioner, registered with the HCPC.

6. You must provide the HCPC with details of your supervisor within 2 weeks of him/her becoming your supervisor.

7. You must meet with your supervisor atleast once a month to review the matters stated above in 1(a) to 1(e).  You must act upon any advice from your supervisor.

8. You must provide to the HCPC records of your supervision at least two weeks before the next review hearing of this order. 

9. You must promptly inform the HCPC of any disciplinary proceedings taken against you by your employer.

10. 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 as a Social Worker;

(b) Any agency you are registered with or apply to be registered as a Social Worker (at the time of your application);

(c) Any prospective employer with whom you are seeking employment as a Social Worker (at the time of your application).

Notes

 
The order imposed today will apply from 1 March 2018. This order will be reviewed again before its expiry on 1 September 2019.

Hearing history

History of Hearings for Miss Sharmiane Claudette Drackett

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
24/01/2018 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Conditions of Practice
25/07/2017 Conduct and Competence Committee Review Hearing Suspended
17/10/2016 Conduct and Competence Committee Final Hearing Suspended