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Conditions placed on registration of adult care home manager convicted of assault

26 February 2021
Social Care Wales

An adult care home manager from Powys has had conditions placed on her registration for 12 months after a Social Care Wales hearing found her fitness to practise is currently impaired because of her criminal conviction for assault.

The two-day hearing was told that Melanie Swindley was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in January 2020 after she behaved violently towards a colleague at a work social event in 2019.

Ms Swindley was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, which was suspended for two years, as well as 180 hours’ unpaid work and a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

In reaching its decision, the fitness to practise panel took into account positive testimonials from Ms Swindley’s long-serving colleagues, as well as the remorse she had displayed regarding her actions.

After considering the evidence, the panel concluded that Ms Swindley’s actions fell short of the standards set out in the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.

The panel decided that Ms Swindley’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of her criminal conviction.

Explaining its decision, the panel told Ms Swindley: “We are concerned that you have not yet taken full responsibility for your actions and instead perceive yourself to be the victim.”

The panel continued: “We consider that public confidence in the social care profession would be undermined if a finding of current impairment was not made in this case due to the gravity of the offence and our concerns regarding the level of insight shown and insufficient steps taken to remedy your conduct.”

The panel decided to give Ms Swindley a 12-month Conditional Registration Order, which will come into effect on 23 March 2021. This order will be reviewed before it is due to expire.

In conclusion, the panel told Ms Swindley: “[Y]our conviction is in relation to a violent assault and we have found that you have breached standards set out in the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care.

“You have displayed some insight into your failings, and we consider that you would respond positively to remediation.

“We also consider that the offence was an isolated incident and took place following very difficult circumstances arising in your personal life.”