Social worker struck off on grounds of misconduct


Mrs Joanne Leach (SW96119) has been struck off the HCPC Register on the grounds of conviction whilst registered as a Social Worker and employed by Norfolk County Council.

A panel of the HCPTS heard that Mrs Leach had accepted a police caution for an offence of theft in relation to an incident regarding items taken from Sainsbury’s Supermarket totalling £491.00. She was subsequently referred to the HCPC by her employer, and in August 2017 she faced an HCPC hearing which determined to issue a temporary suspension from the register.

The Panel further heard that Mrs Leach had failed to engage with the tribunal process throughout the earlier hearing, as was again the case with this final review hearing.

Panel Chair Penny Griffith commented: 

“The Registrant has taken no steps to engage with the Regulator, and as such the Panel has no information before it to indicate that she is in a position to remedy her dishonesty. Therefore we are unable to rule out a risk of repetition of dishonesty, with the consequent risk of ongoing damage to the reputation of the profession.”

The Panel ordered for the name of Joanne Leach to be struck off the HCPC Register. 

Mrs Leach was neither present nor represented at the hearing. 


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Care Professions Council is an independent regulator set up by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC will take action against professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.

2. The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) is the fitness to practise adjudication service of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Although it is part of the HCPC, the distinct identity of the HCPTS seeks to emphasise that hearings are conducted and managed by independent Panels which are at arm's length from the HCPC. 

3. Full details of this hearing will be posted online

4. See information about the HCPC’s fitness to practise proceedings

5. Anyone can contact us and raise a concern about a professional on our Register. This includes members of the public, employers, the police and other professionals. For more information visit

6. The HCPC currently regulates the following 16 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HCPC. Full list of protected titles

  • Arts therapists
  • Biomedical scientists
  • Chiropodists / podiatrists
  • Clinical scientists
  • Dietitians
  • Hearing aid dispensers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Operating department practitioners
  • Orthoptists
  • Paramedics
  • Physiotherapists
  • Practitioner psychologists
  • Prosthetists / orthotists
  • Radiographers
  • Social workers in England
  • Speech and language therapists

7. The HCPC regulates social workers in England. Social workers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are separately regulated by the relevant Care Council in that country.

8. Registrants can appeal the panel’s decision. Appeals are made directly to the High Court in England or Wales, the Court of Session in Scotland or the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland. Appeals must be made within 28 days of when the Notice of Decision and Order is served. The Panel’s order does not take effect until the appeal period has expired or the appeal has concluded.