Removal by agreement
Removal by Agreement means that through this process, a registered person can apply to be removed from the Register without being referred to a Panel.
The decision to agree to the application is made at a Case Conference. A registered person can apply for this at any stage in the fitness to practise process.
Applying for removal by agreement does not mean that a registered person has the right to be removed, but it enables Social Care Wales to agree to removal in an appropriate case.
The decision whether to agree the application is made taking into account whether the allegation involves exceptional public interest issues.
Agreed statement of facts
1. Mr Peter Morgan ('Mr Morgan') registered with Social Care Wales (SCW) as a Qualified Social Worker on 2 March 2005.
2. On 2 January 2018, Mr Morgan commenced employment with Ceredigion County Council ('the Council') in the Adult Services section. He was contracted to work 25 hours a week on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He initially worked in the Long-Care Team.
3. Between April 2018 and September 2018, as part of a restructuring programme, Mr Morgan worked in what was then a newly formed Porth Gofal team based at Glangwilli Hospital in Carmarthen. This was a pilot integrated health and social care triage team.
4. In October 2018, Mr Morgan returned to the Long-Term Care Team, based in Felinfach near Aberaeron. This team deals with adults over the age of 18 with physical disabilities, older adults and adults with old age psychiatry who have long term needs requiring planned care and support.
5. On 8 July 2019, Mr Morgan went on certified sick leave for three weeks with an injury to his ankle. Prior to going on sick leave, Mr. Morgan was in discussions with his manager about his caseload which Mr Morgan believed was too high for the hours that he worked. This was followed by three weeks' annual leave, after which he was due to return to work on 19 August 2019.
6. On Friday 16 August 2019, Mr Morgan was contacted and informed that, as a result of concerns relating to his working practice, he was required to meet with his Team Manager and HR on the following Monday.
7. On Monday 19 August 2019, before the meeting took place, Mr Morgan resigned. On the same day, the Council referred Mr Morgan to SCW. Despite Mr Morgan's resignation, the Council appointed an independent investigator to look into the allegations, which included interviewing relevant witnesses and reviewing relevant documents. The independent investigation report, identified failings in procedures and practice in 19 cases, involving 18 different service users.
That you, between November 2018 and June 2019, whilst registered as a Qualified Social Worker and employed by Ceredigion County Council:
(1) Failed to undertake visits or timely visits to service users:
(a) Case 1:
8. Case 1 was allocated to Mr Morgan on 14 November 2018 for him to undertake a Carer's assessment. Seven months later, on 19 June 2019, Mr Morgan recorded a case note saying that he had arranged a home visit to the service user for the following week. There was no record to confirm that Mr Morgan conducted a visit the following week.
(b) Case 2:
9. Case 2 was allocated to Mr Morgan on 14 November 2018 for him to undertake a Carer's assessment. During supervision meetings on 4 and 15 April 2019, Mr Morgan was tasked to contact the service user as soon as possible to arrange a visit. However, it was not until over six months later, on 4 June 2019, that Mr Morgan completed a case note to say that he had arranged a home visit for the following morning. There was no record to confirm that the visit was undertaken.
(c) Case 3:
10. Case 3 was allocated to Mr Morgan on 28 November 2018 for him to undertake an assessment of the service user's needs as he was an alcoholic and a drug addict and had just come out of hospital. He also suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Due to these complexities, the service user presented as a significant risk. However, there was no record of Mr Morgan making any contact with the service user or visiting him to undertake an assessment
(d) Case 4:
11. Case 4 was allocated to Mr Morgan on 8 January 2019 for him to provide ongoing support to the service user who was a self-neglected vulnerable person living on his own. There were concerns about his ability to manage his own finances. On 23 January 2019, Mr Morgan recorded that he met with the service user at his home with his previous social worker to receive a handover of the case. Over four months later, on 5 June 2019, Mr Morgan recorded that he had conducted a home visit on 3 June 2019 but the service user was not at home. Mr Morgan also recorded that he had left his number with a community project co-ordinator requesting that the service user contact him. On 23 July 2019, a call was received from the job centre expressing concern that the allocated social worker had not visited the service user for some time and that he needed support with managing his finances.
(e) Case 5:
12. On 14th February 2019, Mr Morgan was allocated this case to review the service user’s residential placement. It was not until over two months later, on 16th April 2019, that Mr Morgan recorded a case note to say that he had undertaken the visit and assessed the service user. An audit of the electronic information sharing system, Welsh Community Care Information System ('WCCIS') indicated that Mr Morgan did not actually view the case until 4 April 2019, which was seven weeks after it was allocated to him
(f) Case 9:
13. On 12 June 2019, a case note was recorded for a social worker to make contact with the Long-Term Care Team in Carmarthen so that a DST (Decision Support Tool) assessment could be carried out in respect of this service user. The specialist nurse requesting this action left a telephone number so that contact could be made. On 14 June 2019, this case was allocated to Mr Morgan for him to make the necessary contact to progress and review the service user's placement. There was no record of Mr Morgan undertaking any action.
(g) Case 10:
14. On 14 June 2019, this case was allocated to Mr Morgan for him to review the temporary placement of the service user and to establish her long term care plans. He should have made contact and arranged a visit to establish whether the service user was going to stay at the home permanently or return home. The audit history on WCCIS revealed that Mr Morgan viewed the case on 14 June 2019, however there is no record of Mr Morgan undertaking a visit or taking any other action. Had he done so, he would have established that the service user had sufficient funds to pay for her own placement. Taking no action could have resulted in a loss of income to the Council or the service user in staying in the placement for longer than was required.
(2) Failed to make records or to make records on a timely basis
(a) Case 6:
15. Case 6 was allocated to Mr Morgan on 20 March 2019 to review the service user’s residential placement. On 16 April 2019, Mr Morgan recorded a case note on the system to say that he had undertaken a visit to the service user at her care home where he concluded she lacked capacity. Thereafter, Mr Morgan recorded nothing else on the system when he was expected to record a Care and Support Plan and a Capacity Assessment. The consequence of not recording the Capacity Assessment on the system was that it was not known what the service user lacked capacity in. This could have caused a breakdown of communications if the information was required at an operational level by other agencies. During two supervision meetings held on 8 and 24 June 2019, it was actioned for Mr Morgan to write up the review for this case. However despite these requests, he did not record anything on the system.
(b) Case 7:
16. Case 7 was allocated to Mr Morgan on 20 March 2019 for him to assess the service user’s mental capacity in terms of her ability to manage her finances. This was to allow a referral to be made to the solicitors firm acting on behalf of the Council so that they could act for the service user (deputyship), as she owed the Council in excess of £80,000 for her care. On 24 and 28 May 2019, Mr Morgan was sent emails querying whether he had referred the service user to the Council's solicitors and requesting that he put the documents on the system, to which no responses were received. On 29 May 2019, Mr Morgan recorded a case note to say that he had visited the service user on 11 April 2019 (i.e. more than six weeks earlier) to assess her capacity. On 3 June 2019, Mr Morgan recorded a case note to say that he had submitted the Mental Capacity Assessment and Deputyship application. The service user passed away on 24 May 2019. As a consequence of the delay in recording the visit and submitting the Mental Capacity Assessment and Deputyship application, there was no deputyship in place at the time of the service user's death, meaning that her finances could not be accessed and managed.
(c) Case 8:
17. Case 8 was allocated to Mr Morgan on 14 May 2019 to review the service user's placement in a care home. On 15 May 2019, Mr Morgan recorded a case note on the system to say that he had made a telephone call to the care home to undertake the review in 13 May 2019. However, he recorded nothing else on the system. Following his attendance at the care home on 17 May 2019, he did not record a Care and Support Plan on the system.
(3) Failed to complete financial documentation
(a) Case 11:
18. On 10 April 2019, the service user, who was being managed by Mr Morgan, went into respite care. On 18 April 2019 Mr Morgan received an email requesting that he submit a Placement Confirmation. This form was required to be submitted to initiate a financial assessment to establish the financial contribution from the service user for the care provided. It was also required for a contract to be issued to the care home to allow payment to the home. On 22 May 2019 and 6 June 2019, Mr Morgan received chase-up emails as he had still not submitted the Placement Confirmation. This work had to be subsequently completed by another social worker following Mr Morgan going on sick leave.
(b) Case 12:
19. On 31 December 2018, the service user was placed in a care home and on 4 January 2019, he was transferred to second care home. On 28 January 2019, Mr Morgan submitted a Service Request, however it was rejected and returned to him the following day due to its poor quality. A Service Request is a form that a social worker needs to submit to a senior manager to agree a new or amended service. On 25 March 2019, Mr Morgan received an email from Contracts and Commissioning asking for the Service Request and Placement Confirmation. This was because the home had been chasing the contract. On 18 April 2019, Mr Morgan received and email from Contracts and Commissioning to say that as soon as the Service Request had been approved, he should re-submit two Placement Confirmations, one for the placement on 31 December 2018 and the other for the second care home from 4 January 2019. On 8 and 21 May 2019, Andrew received chase-up emails for the above documents where it was reiterated that the service provider had not been paid. This was followed up by an email from the Adult Services Team Manager instructing him to complete the work as soon as possible. Over the following few days, Mr Morgan submitted the Service Request and Placement Confirmation for the second care home placement. He subsequently received an email asking for the Placement Confirmation for the first placement, which was eventually submitted by him on 18 June 2019. As a consequence there were delays of several months before the care homes were paid.
(c) Case 13:
20. On 28 February 2019, the service user went into respite care which was facilitated by Mr Morgan. However, Mr Morgan had not completed or submitted a Placement Confirmation form. On 22 March 2019, Mr Morgan received an email from Contracts and Commissioning requesting the Placement Confirmation be submitted. On 3 June 2019, Mr Morgan received a chase-up email. However, he did not respond to either email, nor did he submit the Placement Confirmation. A further chase-up email was sent on 22 July 2019, but by that date Mr Morgan was on sick leave. The Placement Confirmation had to be actioned by another social worker. As a result of the delay, the home did not get paid until July 2019.
(d) Case 14
21. On 24 April 2019, Mr Morgan received an email and a case note to say that the wife of this service user wanted her husband to go into 28 day respite care as soon as possible as she could no longer cope with him as he was being aggressive. This email requested that Mr Morgan made an urgent call-back to the service user’s wife. On 29 April 2019, Mr Morgan recorded a case note to say that he had spoken to the service user’s wife on the telephone and arranged a home visit for 2 May 2019. However, no home visited was recorded on the system to show that it ever took place. On 10 May 2019, the service user was placed in the care home. However, at that point, Mr Morgan had not recorded any paperwork on the system, i.e. no assessment or review, no Service Request form and no Placement Confirmation form. On 6 June 2019, Mr Morgan received an email from Contracts and Commissioning to request a Placement Confirmation, but he never submitted this form. The Placement Confirmation was needed to allow the financial assessment and contract to be issued to the home. None of this was done until the case was transferred to a duty officer after Mr Morgan had gone on sick leave in July 2019.
(e) Case 15
22. On 10 April 2019, the family of this service user telephoned Social Services asking for urgent respite for him. As this case was open with Mr Morgan, he was emailed this request and the following day he requested the urgent respite. On 12 April 2019, Mr Morgan received notification that this respite had been agreed ‘out of panel’ and that he needed to submit the relevant documentation in an email. On 29 April 2019, the Adult Services Team Manager spoke to Mr Morgan to explain that in order to submit a Placement Confirmation, he firstly needed to submit a new Care Plan and a Service Request. She followed this up with an email to him. On 29 May 2019, Andrew received an email from Contracts and Commissioning requesting a Placement Confirmation for this respite. Mr Morgan did not complete any of this work. This work had to be subsequently allocated to another social worker to complete when Mr Morgan went on sick leave.
(f) Case 16
23. This service user had gone into respite and Mr Morgan received an email on 26 March 2019 requesting he submit a Placement Confirmation form, as he was required to do. On 18 April 2019, as Mr Morgan had not submitted the form, he was sent a chase-up email. As a result of this he submitted the form that day, but a few hours later, he received a further email asking for additional information and amendments to be made to the form so that it could be processed. On 29 April, 8 and 21st May and 14 and 18 June 2019, Mr Morgan received chase-up emails requesting that he submit the amended form. Mr Morgan failed to respond to any of the emails and failed to submit the amended Placement Confirmation. The consequence of Mr Morgan's failings was that no financial assessment or contracts were in place with the home for them to be paid. In addition, this home attracted an additional payment and it should have been determined at the time who was going to pay it. As Mr Morgan had not dealt with this matter either, this meant that the Council had to pay the additional weekly costs of £17.92 per week. This work had to be completed by another social worker after Mr Morgan had gone off work on sick leave in July 2019.
(4) Failed to undertake a safeguarding visit
(a) Case 17:
24. On 26 March 2019, a Macmillan Occupational Therapist undertook a planned home visit to the service user who was 62 years of age and had Motor Neurone Disease. During that visit, the service user disclosed that in the recent past, her partner had hit her on the face resulting in bruising, explaining that this had occurred because her partner was tired and she was crying. As a result of this, the Occupational Therapist made a Safeguarding Referral. The following day, a senior practitioner within in the Adult Safeguarding Team agreed that Mr Morgan (who was her allocated social worker) would undertake a joint visit with the Occupational Therapist to the service user to discuss the disclosure she had made.
25. An arrangement was made for the joint home visit to take place on 11 April 2019. However, when that day arrived, the Occupational Therapist had a heavy cold, and not wanting to infect the service user who was in poor health, did not think it would be advisable to undertake the visit that day. That morning she contacted the Social Services Adult Team and as Mr Morgan was not available, and left a message to ask if the joint visit could be re-arranged and requested a return call. Mr Morgan subsequently acknowledged this message in a case note, but he did not make any further contact with the Occupational Therapist.
26. On 24 April 2019, the senior practitioner who had previously been involved sent an email to Mr Morgan asking for an update on the joint visit. However, there was no record of Mr Morgan responding to this email, nor any evidence of the safeguarding visit ever taking place.
(5) Plagiarised an assessment
(a) Case 18:
27. This elderly service user lived at home with her partner, and in October 2018, the social worker allocated to her at that time undertook a NAET assessment of her needs and recorded it on WCCIS. On 28 November 2018, this case was transferred to Mr Morgan for him to review the service user’s domiciliary care, and in January 2019, due to the deteriorating health of the service user, he was requested to undertake an urgent review to increase her care package. Despite these requests and the service user's deteriorating health, there is no evidence of Mr Morgan undertaking these reviews. On 17 April 2019, Mr Morgan recorded a NAET assessment on the system and took this assessment to a DST meeting with the Health Service. The reason that this up-to-date assessment was required for this meeting was to determine how great the service user’s needs were and how much the Health Service would be contributing. The NAET assessment that Mr Morgan submitted on 17 April 2019 was plagiarised in that it was similar in all respects to the one undertaken in October 2018 by another social worker. A review of the assessment completed by Mr Morgan showed that he had copied the previous assessment and just added a few sentences and signed it off as his own work. It was expected that the assessment would provide an update of the service user’s personal circumstances, particularly as she had deteriorated significantly since the assessment the previous October.
(6) Your conduct in 5a lacked integrity:
28. It is acknowledged that it may be acceptable practice on occasions to copy some information from previous assessments onto updated assessments, such as family structure and medical condition etc., where the circumstances have not changed. However, Mr Morgan's actions referred to in allegation 5 above went beyond this, and other than removing a half page of text, he copied the document in its entirety.
29. In submitting the assessment as his own when this was not the case, Mr Morgan's actions lacked integrity.
(7) Moved a service user without following legal and service procedures
30. On 23 April 2019, this service user was transferred from his existing care home to a care home in Pembrokeshire. This was done at the request of his family as they wanted him located nearer to where they lived. Mr Morgan was the allocated social worker who facilitated this move. There is no evidence of Mr Morgan ever visiting the service user or completing any of the statutory processes or procedures prior to moving the individual. Furthermore, on 30 April 2019, Contracts and Commissioning emailed Mr Morgan asking for the Service Request and the Placement Confirmation to be submitted. They subsequently send two further emails to Mr Morgan, on 14 May 2019 and 17 June 2019 urgently requesting this documentation. On 18 June 2019, Mr Morgan submitted these documents when required to do so by his line-manager.
31. In transferring the service user, Mr Morgan failed to complete an up-to-date Assessment or Review and an up-to-date Care and Support Plan which the receiving home would require. He also failed to undertake a Capacity Assessment to ensure the service user was able to make a decision about his move. Furthermore, Mr Morgan failed to conduct a Best Interests Assessment (BIA) which is required under the Mental Capacity Act 2015, as the service user did lack capacity and therefore the decision to move him should have been assessed to ensure it was in his best interests. Mr Morgan failed to submit a Service Request prior to the transfer to agree the new service which was to be provided. Despite receiving a number of emails, Mr Morgan also failed to submit a Placement Confirmation when required to do so to enable the contract to be issued to the care home, and to allow the home to be paid.
32. Mr Morgan provided a statement to the Council's investigation in which he set out a number of mitigating factors in relation to the allegations. These factors included an assertion that he had an excessive workload and that he also had to undertake training and emergency assessments which added to work pressures. However, Mr Morgan acknowledges that these mitigating factors did not justify the significant failures identified in the above allegations.
33. Mr Morgan resigned from his post as a social worker on 18 August 2019 and Mr Morgan states he felt overwhelmed with his case load. Mr Morgan states that as he resigned, he did not have the opportunity to update his case notes, close cases and record visits.
35. Mr Morgan admits that his fitness to practise as a social worker is currently impaired for the reasons stated in this statement.
36. Mr Morgan confirms that it is not his intention to work in the future in any capacity which would require him to be registered by SCW and that he wishes his name to be removed from SCW's register by agreement under Rule 9 of the Investigation Rules 2018. The statement of agreed facts has been prepared for that purpose.
37. If, contrary to his expressed intention, Mr Morgan should make an application for registration with SCW at a future date, Mr Morgan acknowledges that SCW will have regard to the contents of this statement when considering such an application.
38. Mr Morgan confirms his agreement to the facts set out in this statement.
Removed from the Register