Social worker struck off for accessing confidential case files on friend’s children

Questions were also asked about £500 withdrawn from a service user's bank account, the regulator heard.

A social worker who accessed confidential case files on her friend’s children has been struck off the register in England.

Sally-Anne Davies was working for Nottinghamshire council when a concern came to light that she had inappropriately accessed the file management system, a panel of the Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) conduct and competence committee heard.

An audit showed she had accessed the file of Adult A’s children, unrelated to her work.

It transpired that Davies was a friend of Adult A and knew that allegations of domestic violence had been made against them.

She later supported Adult A and agreed to give evidence in their defence in the trial relating to the domestic violence allegation.

The HCPC’s panel also heard that Davies took £500 in total out of a child’s bank account, which was meant to be used for the child’s disability living allowance.

When asked about the matter, Davies said she had had control of the bank card since April 2009, but had recently become concerned about access to the bank account and decided to set up a new one.

She said the only way to do this was to take out the daily limit of £50 every day.

However, the panel found that this was not a credible explanation, noting that there was no record anywhere on the council’s systems of the withdrawals.

“The breach of confidentiality in improperly accessing Adult A’s children’s records in this case would cause great concern for any service user that highly confidential information they have provided could be accessed and potentially made available to others in circumstances which could put them at risk,” concluded panel chair William Nelson.

“The failure to account properly for the bank account of Child D is equally serious and has undermined public confidence in the integrity and trustworthiness of the registrant.”

The panel decided that the most appropriate action was to remove Davies from the register. She was not present or represented at the hearing.

Read the full notice of decision

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