A social worker who created false records to keep managers “off his back” has been suspended by the HCPC.
A conduct panel found the mental health social worker failed to tell colleagues he was struggling with his workload and instead “deliberately and systematically” concealed this by creating forms that gave managers the impression he’d seen service users to review their care when he had not.
The social worker admitted to creating the forms after a case audit by his local authority identified “significant problems” with 10 files he’d worked on.
A subsequent investigation into care records relating to three service users found forms created by the social worker were duplicates, contained no information relevant to the review, or were documents that should have been filled out by a doctor.
The social worker said he was suffering from stress at the time and had been “unable to cope with the demands of his work”. He created the documents to make it look like he was up to date with his record keeping, “keep management ‘off his back'” and avoid his name appearing on his team’s “review outstanding list”.
The social worker expressed remorse for falsifying documents, and didn’t try to excuse the conduct. He said he had taken steps to manage stress since and had gained insight into the potentially harmful consequences of his misconduct.
The panel concluded his actions had harmed a group of service users whose reviews were delayed “significantly”, and put others at risk. His suspension will last 12 months.