GSCC: Practitioner suspended for failure to account for user’s cash

A General Social Care Council conduct committee has suspended a social worker from practice for 18 months for failing to account for his role in transactions involving a service user’s money.

David Howson, 49, was suspended for 18 months after the committee heard he had failed to provide a clear audit trail for £1,800 withdrawn from the service user’s account during a shopping trip they undertook together.

Howson, of Leigh, Greater Manchester, was working for the Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust’s older people community mental health team in October 2004 when he accompanied the service user, described as “an extremely vulnerable elderly gentleman with dementia”, on the trip.

The committee ruled that Howson’s failure to record the transactions and accurately reflect the events of the trip and his subsequent failure to account for his actions breached the GSCC’s code of practice. Howson admitted he had not been as “accurate and vigilant” in his record-keeping as he should have been.

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