Home care worker warned after ignoring rape claim

A domiciliary care worker who failed to report a service user’s claim that she had been raped and her fears that she may be attacked again has received an official warning from the Care Council for Wales.

Lynda Pritchard, who works for Wrexham Council, admitted placing a service user at risk by failing to follow procedures. She admitted 10 breaches of the code of practice for social care workers.

Pritchard, who received a six-month admonishment, was the first worker registered on a voluntary basis to appear before a CCW conduct committee.

The hearing in Mold, north Wales, was told that in July 2008 the woman informed Pritchard that she had been raped and that her attacker had threatened to return that night to rape her again.

However, Pritchard did not pass on details of the woman’s claim to the police, her manager, the emergency duty team or the woman’s family. She left her unaccompanied in her flat and and her records were not updated.

Phil Gilroy, head of adult social care for Wrexham Council, emphasised that the authority “takes any allegations against staff seriously and investigates all matters using well-established policies and procedures, taking action as necessary to protect vulnerable adults”.

He said the council supported the idea of registration for all social care workforce groups and referred all issues of concern regarding registered staff to the CCW.

Although compulsory registration applies only to social workers and staff and managers in children’s homes, all care staff at Wrexham Council must register with the regulator.

“We take [the six-month admonishment for Lynda Pritchard] as a positive reflection of Wrexham’s procedures,” Gilroy said.

Pritchard was not suspended during the investigation but was transferred to Nant Silyn Residential Home to work in a supported environment. She received a final written warning which expires in November 2010.

A spokesperson for the CCW said that, of the 762 domiciliary workers and managers registered on a voluntary basis, 35% of those were from Wrexham.

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