Social worker suspended on grounds of misconduct

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Social worker suspended

Rudolph Antonio Coombs (SW22741) has been suspended from the HCPC Register for a period of twelve months on the grounds of misconduct whilst employed as a social worker for the London Borough of Newham.

A Panel of the HCPTS heard that Mr Coombs acted outside of his scope of practice whilst care coordinator for Service User A in regard to litigation she was involved in. Mr Coombs allowed Borough headed paper to be used for Service User A’s personal correspondence and corresponded with external parties on her behalf.

The Panel further heard that Mr Coombes made an inadequate mental health assessment of Service User A by failing to adequately analyse the potential impact of legal proceedings on her mental well-being.

Panel Chair Stephen Fash commented:

“Whilst Mr Coombs may well have considered that he was acting in what he felt was Service User A’s best interests in assisting her with the litigation, he appears still not to appreciate fully that, in doing so, he was acting outside the scope of his professional role. He appears also to fail to recognise the potential impact of legal proceedings on Service User A’s physical and mental well-being.”

The Panel ordered for the name of Rudolph Antonio Coombes to be suspended from the HCPC Register for a period of twelve months.

Mr Coombs was present at the hearing and represented by Mr Kieran Galvin, Counsel.


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 here:

4. Information about the HCPC’s fitness to practise proceedings can be found on the HCPC website here:

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. To see the full list of protected titles please see
Arts therapists
Biomedical scientists
Chiropodists / podiatrists
Clinical scientists
Hearing aid dispensers
Occupational therapists
Operating department practitioners
Practitioner psychologists
Prosthetists / orthotists
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