By Rachel Carter
A social worker who failed to attend a second hearing into her use of unnecessary physical force against a service user with autism has been struck off.
Amy Marie Royal was employed as a deputy team leader at Acorn North School, Norfolk, in June 2011, when she restrained the girl unnecessarily and pulled a duvet out from under her on a bed.
At an initial hearing in April 2013, a panel of the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) competence and conduct committee heard that Royal had also failed to adhere to care plan guidance on when the girl should eat, did not communicate with her effectively and left her alone in the bath, despite knowing there were risks to her safety.
She was dismissed by the school and the HCPC’s panel suspended her for 12 months. A second panel met last week to review her suspension, which is due to expire on 9 May.
The original panel found that Royal had caused “serious distress” to the service user and represented “a risk to members of the public in her role as a social worker”.
“Miss Amy Royal has shown no remorse or insight into her behaviour in these proceedings,” the panel said. “Actual and potential harm was caused to Service User A and Miss Amy Royal’s working colleagues as a result of that behaviour.”
It went on to say: “[The panel] cannot be confident that there will be no repetition of similar events.”
Royal declined to attend both hearings and the reviewing panel concluded that she therefore continued to pose a risk to members of the public.
It said she had failed to engage with the HCPC, had provided no evidence of insight or remediation and had not sought to comply with the recommendations of the original panel.
The panel concluded that, at the expiration of the suspension order, Royal’s name should be removed from the register.