The General Social Care Council has defended itself against claims that it misused its regulatory powers by holding a hearing into the conduct of a social worker who wanted to be removed from the social care register.
Mr G was banned from practising this month after a conduct committee decided he had breached the code of practice by forming inappropriate relationships – one of them sexual – with two service users.
Through his solicitor, Allan Norman, Mr G said he was “heartily glad” to have been removed. He had no desire to continue in social care and had been pursuing removal since 2007.
Norman added: “Unable to see that these proceedings were necessary, either to sanction him or to prevent him from practising, our client is left with the impression that the council used the hearing to satisfy public demand for blame and punishment, which should not be the purpose of regulation.”
But the GSCC defended its position. “When serious allegations are made against a registrant, we have a duty to the complainant and, in the interests of ensuring the integrity of social work, to investigate and follow through to a conclusion,” said chief executive Mike Wardle.
“We believe it is right that a public hearing is held, in the interests of transparency and public accountability.”
He added: “If we were simply to allow someone to leave the register when a complaint was outstanding then the reason for removal would not be on the public record.
“If they moved to another profession their future employer would not be aware of important information about their suitability to work in whatever role they had chosen.”
Your views on deregistration
● Max Openness and accountability mean that it’s not possible for misconduct to be ‘swept under the carpet’. [Deregistration] allows the organisation to protect its reputation at the expense of the person who has suffered as a result of the misconduct.”
● queenb “Maybe he is a ‘responsible’ individual in knowing that he is not suitable for a social work role.”
● aitch “Without a ban he could attempt to renew his registration. A five-minute hearing should suffice.”