Two adult care home managers from north Wales have been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found their fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
In November 2018, Pauline Mellor became the manager of a care home where a resident had died by choking on their food earlier that year.
An inspection by Care Inspectorate Wales identified several issues at the home, which Ms Mellor was aware of when she became the manager having previously worked as a nurse at the home.
The hearing was told that Ms Mellor failed to address these issues and put residents at risk of harm.
The failures included failing to make sure adequate care plans were in place for all residents, failing to make sure residents could access treatment and advice from healthcare professionals and failing to make sure there were enough trained, qualified and competent staff.
The hearing was told that the home’s quality assurance advisor Claire Sheppeck was jointly responsible for the failures by failing to support Ms Mellor in running the home.
Ms Sheppeck was also accused of failing to protect, promote and maintain the safety and well-being of the people in her care while managing a different care home, and failed to run that home with sufficient care, competence and skill.
After considering the evidence, the panel decided that Ms Mellor and Ms Sheppeck’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
The panel explained its decision by saying: “We find that [they] knowingly failed to carry out [their] duties, which seriously impacted the health and well-being of the residents... We consider [their] behaviour in this regard to be deplorable.”
The panel continued: “We have not been provided with any evidence that [Ms Mellor and Ms Sheppeck have] sought to remedy [their] behaviour or reflected upon [their] conduct. [They have] not demonstrated any insight into [their] failings. Instead, the evidence suggests [they have] sought to blame others and failed to take responsibility for [their] actions.
“In light of [their] failure to acknowledge any wrongdoing on [their parts], we do not consider [their] behaviour to be easily remediable.”
The panel decided to remove Ms Mellor and Ms Sheppeck from the Register, saying: “[Ms Mellor and Ms Sheppeck have] shown a blatant disregard for, and serious departure from, the relevant professional standards set out in the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.
“We have decided that confidence in the social care profession would be undermined by allowing [Ms Mellor and Ms Sheppeck] to remain on the Register.
“We do not consider there is any other way to protect the public due to [their] complete lack of insight, the lack of any reflection regarding the impact of [their] behaviour and any evidence there is likely to be satisfactory remediation of [their] impairment.”
Ms Mellow and Ms Sheppeck were not present at the seven-day remote joint hearing, which took place over Zoom from 22 April 2021.