Sunderland conduct case: social worker suspended

A Sunderland social worker has been suspended for two years for the verbal abuse and inappropriate physical restriction of a woman with learning disabilities.

Frederick Keith Stockdale, 42, shouted at the woman and placed his arms on either side of her so her movement was restricted during an exchange at Villette Lodge, a residential centre for adults with learning disabilities owned by Sunderland council, a GSCC conduct committee heard.

Stockdale did not ask a colleague for help at the time or remove himself from the situation, causing the woman “considerable and unnecessary distress”, the committee said.

The committee was concerned by Stockdale’s “failure to recognise that the situation developed to a stage where it was no longer safe or appropriate for him to address it alone and said his actions constituted “abuse”.

Deciding on the two-year suspension – the maximum term – the committee said that although Stockdale’s actions were serious, he had an otherwise unblemished record and could work again in future. Stockdale has also been asked to undertake further training on dealing with challenging behaviour as his actions contravened official guidelines on physical intervention.

Stockdale has a right of appeal to the independent Care Standards Tribunal.

More information

General Social Care Council

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