The General Social Care Council should consider introducing fast-track conduct hearings for social workers with recent convictions to save time and money, say social care experts.
The comments come after the GSCC spent £11,150 on a hearing into the conduct of approved social worker Christopher Bradford who was last year convicted of having sex with a mental health service user in his care, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 2003. He was jailed for seven months and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
The committee, which heard the case over three days, decided to strike Bradford off its social care register.
Former British Association of Social Workers chair and director of social services Ray Jones said there could be a case for speeding up the process where registrants had a conviction.
BASW professional officer for England Nushra Mansuri added: “Where an individual has already been found guilty through the judicial process of serious misconduct it would be better if the GSCC could follow a more simplified process to decide whether or not to deregister rather than having a potentially lengthy and expensive conduct hearing.”
- In our Inspector blog senior investigative journalist Sally Gillen labelled the decision to hold a hearing in this case “baffling”. Respond to Sally’s blog to have your say.