A social worker has been struck off by the HCPC after she consistently disputed a fitness to practice panel’s findings and called them “defamatory”.
A conduct and competence committee decided the social worker, who was initially found to have not communicated appropriately with colleagues and failed to follow management instructions, should be struck off after a review of her conditions of practice order.
When she was first sanctioned last year, she appealed for an early review which saw her two year conditions of practice order reduced to just one year after she “recognised and accepted the need to develop in the areas identified”.
However, in a review hearing this month, the panel concluded the social worker no longer accepted the findings of the verdict given last year.
“Whatever limited acceptance of responsibility she may have expressed at either the final hearing or the November 2015 review hearing (as recorded in those determinations) the registrant has very clearly departed from that position,” the judgement said.
“She has consistently and repeatedly disputed those findings over the 14 months since the final hearing. She has repeatedly said to this panel that she is the one who ‘speaks the truth’ and that everyone else involved has lied, been dishonest and been corrupt, borne of bias, prejudice and self-interesting including her former manager and work colleagues.”
It added: “She has accepted very little, if any, wrong-doing or responsibility on her part for facing these regulatory proceedings. She described having to ‘crush this corruption’.”
When the registrant was refused employment, she claimed the HCPC judgements published online were “incorrect, untruthful and defamatory”.
“The registrant spoke of reflecting on events but when she described these reflections they focused on identifying the wrongdoings, as she perceived them, of others, not of her own,” the panel said.
It said she had a “restricted view” on what work to pursue after her conditions of practice order, opting to focus on jobs in social work, and not recognising that other jobs could provide a route back to unrestricted practice.
“When asked what steps she had considered to facilitate a return to work it was clear from her evidence that she had not considered undertaking a ‘return to work’ process nor that she needed to refresh her skills or knowledge. She expressed the view that she was a good social worker who could return to work with no additional support other than a good manager.”
It concluded the social worker “demonstrated significant inflexibility, an over-stated belief in herself and her judgements over those of other professionals”.
The panel decided she would put service users at risk by not appropriately communicating with fellow team members and not complying with management instructions.
“The panel had in mind the registrant’s lack of insight and continued denial of her shortcomings,” when it issued a striking off order.