Social worker struck off for misconduct in healthcare job

A social worker who administered antipsychotic drugs to the wrong patient in his previous job as a healthcare assistant has been struck off.

A social worker who administered an antipsychotic drug to the wrong patient in his previous job as a healthcare assistant has been struck off.

The allegations against Stephen Swift predate his registration as a social worker with the General Social Care Council (GSCC).

Swift had been working as a healthcare assistant for the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust in June 2008 when he informed ward staff that he was registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

As a result, his role was upgraded to staff nurse and he took charge of a ward, where he subsequently administered an antipsychotic drug to the wrong patient.

It later emerged that Swift has never been registered with the NMC. However, he did go on to register with the GSCC in November 2008.

When the incident came to the GSCC’s attention, its conduct department determined that it was appropriate to hear the case.

The conduct committee heard evidence from Swift’s former manager and representatives from the trust and NMC. It also saw three earlier emails from Swift admitting the charges.

The committee was satisfied that the allegations were proved and found Swift’s behaviour to be “fundamentally dishonest”.

“As a result of that dishonesty, he had obtained a position of trust and authority which permitted him to administer drugs when not qualified to do so,” the committee said.

“This breach of trust placed those in his charge at serious risk of harm.”

Swift had admitted his misbehaviour at an earlier opportunity, apologised and shown remorse, the committee acknowledged.

But it concluded that there was a serious risk Swift would repeat his behaviour and decided that his actions warranted removal from the social care register.

It is not known whether Swift obtained employment as a social worker upon registering with the GSCC.

Read the full notice of decision

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