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.
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.
STATEMENT OF AGREED FACTS
1. Ms Lindsay Cook ('Ms Cook') registered with Social Care Wales (SCW) as a Domiciliary Care Worker on 11 November 2019.
2. Ms Cook was employed by Verytas Solutions Ltd as a Home Care Support Worker. Her role primarily involved assisting individuals in the community with daily living and personal care needs.
3. On 1 September 2022, Verytas Solutions received a disclosure letter from North Wales Police. The letter disclosed that on 25 August 2022, Ms Cook was arrested on suspicion of theft, following receiving information that Ms Cook's grandmother was suspected to have been financially exploited due to unusual activity on her bank account and large expenditure.
4. Ms Cook became signatory and joint account holder of her grandmother's account on 9 November 2021. Shortly thereafter, online transactions were made on numerous gambling sites, as well as other unusual transactions on food takeaway services.
5. When Ms Cook was given access to her grandmother's account, there was £11,405.27 in the account. By 10 August 2022, the balance of the account was £7.19.
6. On 8 September 2022, Ms Cook's employer held a meeting, and Ms Cook was subsequently suspended pending an investigation.
7. On 14 September 2022, Ms Cook resigned from her employment with Verytas Solutions Ltd.
That, whilst registered with Social Care Wales as a Domiciliary Care Worker:
(1) 'Between July 2021 and August 2022, committed fraud in that, while occupying a position, namely to ensure that the finances of your grandmother in which you were expected to safeguard, or not to act against the financial interests of her, you dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make gain for yourself namely £8,917.34.'
8. The disclosure letter from North Wales Police records that Ms Cook admitted, during an interview, that she had fraudulently taken funds from her grandmother's account to use on gambling sites and to buy cocaine. Ms Cook stated that, following the death of her father, she took to gambling and using cocaine and that having access to her grandmother's account was "too tempting". Ms Cook also admitted that the winnings from gambling were used to further fund gambling and to buy cocaine.
9. During her interview with her employer, Ms Cook conceded that she made transfers out of her grandmother’s account, but also returned money. Ms Cook acknowledged that her actions could have brought the company's name into disrepute and apologised. Ms Cook reflected that whilst she understood the concerns raised, she never took money from a user of care and support. Ms Cook admitted that she started taking cocaine following her father's death and denied ever taking drugs or being under the influence at work.
10. On 20 October 2022, Ms Cook advised the Fitness to Practise Officer, by way of email, that she is ashamed of her actions and that she understands she abused her grandmother's trust. Ms Cook also stated that she is no longer gambling or taking drugs, and that her father's loss was the cause of her past actions.
11. Ms Cook confirms her agreement to the facts set out in this statement.
12. Ms Cook confirms that it is not her intention to work in the future in any capacity which would require her to be registered by SCW and that she wishes her name to be removed from SCW's register by agreement under Rule 9 of the Social Care Wales (Investigation) Rules 2022. This statement of agreed facts has been prepared for that purpose.
13. If, contrary to her expressed intention, Ms Cook should make an application for registration with SCW at a future date, in relation to any category of registration, she acknowledges that SCW will have regard to the contents of this statement of agreed facts when considering such an application.