Social worker’s HCPC application removed after she ‘deliberately concealed’ regulatory history

Practitioner applied under a different name and said she had never before practised in England to reapply to register early

Photo: sepy/Fotolia

A social worker’s application to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) was removed after a HCPC tribunal found she had “deliberately concealed her regulatory history” and “provided false information”.

The practitioner, who had been removed from the register in October 2016, was found to have applied under a new name and lied about her work history in order to reapply to the register earlier than permitted; she was not eligible to reapply until a restoration period of five years had elapsed.

The panel concluded the social worker had “deliberately sought to deceive the registrar” and said her application had been “fraudulent from the outset”.

It added her application for admission would have been refused if her professional history had been “appropriately disclosed”.

Concerns raised following registration

In late October 2017, the HCPC received an application from a practitioner to register as a social worker. Her application included details of a social work diploma and detailed evidence of practise in America during 2001-2017.

The applicant indicated on the document that she had not previously been disciplined by a professional or regulatory body, and the declaration confirming the accuracy of the information provided in the application had been signed.

An accompanying covering letter stated that she had not officially practised social work in the UK.

The practitioner was informed she had been admitted to the register, via a letter dated 23 January 2018, and was valid to practise from 18 January 2018 to 30 November 2018.

On 25 April 2018, the HCPC received an email from the divisional manager of a social care recruitment agency, who raised concerns that the practitioner was actually the same social worker who had been struck off the register on 2 November 2016.

It was then alleged that the registration in October 2017 had been “fraudulently procured”.

Comparing personal documents

Members of the panel were asked to review documents provided in both names, including photocopies of driving licences, passports and other personal documents.

A legal assessor acting on behalf of the HCPC identified to the panel the similarities between the paperwork submitted by the named practitioners and said that on the newer registration, a different name had been applied to conceal the social worker’s previous striking off, and, therefore, had fraudulently applied to the register.

The panel was satisfied that the documentation it examined indicated that the two were the same person, and that the social worker had two legitimate names.

The panel agreed that the practitioner, who had been struck off the register in 2016, was the same person that who had applied for HCPC registration in 2017.

It found the practitioner had been removed from the register on in October 2016 after she failed to prepare or provide minutes of Looked After Children (LAC) review meetings that she had chaired; did not attend LAC review meetings she was due to chair; dishonestly claimed payment for work in connection with LAC review meetings which were not completed; conducted LAC review meetings over the telephone rather than attending in person and dishonestly asked social workers not to inform the service coordinator that she had not attended them.

Untrue assertions

The panel also looked at the practitioner’s application document to the HCPC and found, in Section 1 of the form, in answer to the question ‘Have you ever previously applied for registration with the HCPC or the Health Professions Council (HCP), the box ‘Yes’ had initially been ticked and then crossed out and the box ‘No’ ticked.

In the covering letter for the HCPC application form in October 2017, she had also stated: “I have not officially practised social work in the UK. However, I have spent the last 10 yrs living and workin [sic] in New York, USA.”

The panel was satisfied that each of these answers or assertions were untrue and concluded, overall, concluded the practitioner had lied during her application and was ineligible to apply to the register.

It ruled that the only option available was for the practitioner’s entry to be removed from the HCPC register.

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9 Responses to Social worker’s HCPC application removed after she ‘deliberately concealed’ regulatory history

  1. Daisy February 21, 2019 at 9:41 pm #

    Removed from the registrar for a 5 year restoration period. How is the social worker supposed to support herself/her children during this time? I don’t agree with her giving false information, however, I can empathise with her wanting to be back in work supporting herself and her family. HCPC punishments are far too draconian and usually disproportionate for the offence of mistake committed.

    • Sarah February 22, 2019 at 7:38 pm #

      Sorry but no… this is an incredibly important safeguarding role and she literally phoned it in (and asked people to lie for her). Honesty is the hallmark of what we do as a profession.

  2. jim February 22, 2019 at 11:42 am #

    what about her being prosecuted for fraud other than just being removed from the register again? because what she did was nothing more than downright fraudulaent deception!

  3. Disillusioned February 22, 2019 at 6:16 pm #

    Hcpc punishments are so draconian, I really struggle to justify their decisions. It will a matter if time, if the hcpc continues to hand over such sanctions, very soon workers will be committing suicide and then there would be discussions and debates to reconsider their rationale.

    Already so many workers meted such harsh decisions by hcpc are psychologically dying everyday. The lapses some ethical and professional are judged so critically, I don’t think even the judges granting sentence for criminal offences work with the same mindset as the hcpc.

    Workers undergoing such traumatic dissection are treated worse than what a hardened criminal would receive.

    It may across as really strong but that is the harsh reality.

  4. Sian February 22, 2019 at 11:02 pm #

    Daisy her fraudulent behaviour has destroyed family’s and parents have had their children removed on less than what she has done , disgraceful fir a so called professional

  5. Janet February 23, 2019 at 11:51 am #

    Quite appalling. If this attitude gets into practice then there is no hope whatsoever.

  6. Disillusioned February 26, 2019 at 4:37 pm #

    It is very easy to have a knee jerk reaction and place disproportionate sanctions. The broader picture of the workplace culture, bullying and issues whereby the management creates a difficult situation for the workers to function effectively are not considered by hcpc at all.
    When there is any complaint against the manager, the whole organisation comes to the rescue and onus is shifted onto the the individual workers.
    The organisation advocates strength based practice but they work contrary to such basis when they want to destroy the workers.
    Of course in this particular instance, integrity, honesty and ethical issues are questionable who in desperation resorted to such practice.
    However I would like to add that honesty and openness has been known to be detrimental in a hostile work environment.

    • Daguerrotype March 6, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

      Workplace and management issues are a totally different issue to the situation described here. This woman was being dishonest – both originally and in fraudulently reapplying to HCPC under a different name. Whatever pressure she may have been under it was for her to find an appropriate way to deal with it.

  7. Beth March 7, 2019 at 6:32 pm #

    She was bring the profession into disrepute and also failing the children/young people. This is not the sort of person who the profession needs and she has to take responsibility for her failings. Terrible role model! Glad i didn;t have to work with her!