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Susan Hughes
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Registered role
Domiciliary Care Worker
Outcome
Removal by Agreement
Location
N/A
Employer
Previously Dimensions Cymru
Type of hearing
No panel held, Removal by Agreement process

Decision summary

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.

Introduction

1. Mrs Susan Hughes registered with Social Care Wales (SCW) as a Domiciliary Care Worker on 19th May 2020.

2. Mrs Hughes was employed as a Support Worker by Dimensions Cymru ("Dimensions"). She had been in that employment since 17 December 2019.

3. Mrs Hughes worked for Dimensions at Lamb House, Blaina, which is a supported living service for five male individuals with a range of complex needs.

4. One of those individuals was Individual A. Individual A could present challenging behaviour on a regular basis. However, following a suspected mini-stroke in December 2019, his challenging behaviour became less frequent.

Allegations

That you, on 26 September 2020, whilst registered as a Domiciliary Care Worker and employed by Dimensions Cymru:

(1) Threw water at Individual A.

5. On 26 September 2020, two other Support Workers endeavoured to give Individual A his medication. Individual A attempted to hit one of the Support Worker's hands and also swung his arm, catching a clip in her hair. At that point the two Support Workers walked away from Individual A.

6. Mrs Hughes was then asked to attempt to give Individual A his medication. This was in keeping with the approach that Individual A sometimes responded more positively to a change of face.

7. When Mrs Hughes approached Individual A, she asked him to take his medication. Individual A then knocked the medication out of her hands and got up from his seated position. One of the Support Workers who was present described Mrs Hughes running away and Individual A chasing after her. Mrs Hughes then threw a cup of water which struck Individual A on his face and neck.

8. After another Support Worker attempted to calm Individual A down, he stood up again. Mrs Hughes was then seen to pick up another cup of water. Another Support Worker present described Mrs Hughes' actions as follows:

"Sue hesitated as if she thought about throwing it and then threw the contents of this cup at [Individual A]."

9. Mrs Hughes subsequently contacted the Locality Manager explaining that she had thrown one cup of water at Individual A and described this as a 'jerk reaction' during the incident.

10. It was subsequently noted that other Support Workers present reported that Mrs Hughes had thrown two cups of water over Individual A and that, on the second occasion, it appeared that she had picked up the cup of water with intent to throw it.

11. On 28 September 2020, Mrs Hughes was suspended pending a disciplinary investigation. When interviewed during that investigation, it was put to her that she had thrown a second cup of water at Individual A. Mrs Hughes responded that she could not recall this, but accepted that she must have done so if her colleagues had said she had.

12. Mrs Hughes said:

"I'm so sad and unhappy it's happened and sad for [Individual A]. I'm a carer. I'm supposed to be there to support, I've let myself down and him down and my managers".

13. The Investigation Report stated that Mrs Hughes showed a lot of remorse and understood that her actions were wrong.

14. A disciplinary hearing was held on 26 October 2020. It was found that Mrs Hughes had thrown water over Individual A on two occasions on 26 September 2020.

15. The disciplinary panel found that Mrs Hughes' actions amounted to gross misconduct and Mrs Hughes was summarily dismissed.

16. Mrs Hughes was subsequently referred to SCW by Dimensions.

17. Mrs Hughes has applied for removal of her registration by agreement. This statement of agreed facts has been prepared for the purpose of that application.

Conclusion.

18. Mrs Hughes confirms her agreement to the facts set out in this statement

19. Mrs Hughes 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 Investigation Rules 2020.

20. If, contrary to his expressed intention, Mrs Hughes should make an application for registration with SCW at a future date, Mrs Hughes acknowledges that SCW may have regard to the contents of this statement when considering such an application.