A domiciliary care manager from Carmarthenshire has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found her fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
Clare Stephenson was working as the manager of a British Red Cross service supporting people who’d recently been discharged from hospital when she was accused of telling one of her colleagues to withhold evidence from, and lie to, police.
The hearing was told that in June 2018 the colleague, a community support worker, tried to visit the home of a terminally ill man using the service, but was unable to gain entry.
When she returned to the house a few days later, the community support worker found the man dead. On calling Ms Stephenson, she was told not to tell the police she’d attempted to visit the man a few days earlier and to tell them she last saw him alive two days before her failed attempt to visit.
Appearing before the panel, Ms Stephenson disputed the facts presented and said she could not and did not tell the community support worker to falsify her evidence.
But after considering the evidence, the panel found the charges proved, concluding that Ms Stephenson acted in a way that was dishonest and lacked integrity, and that her fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
The panel explained its decision, saying: “We find that Ms Stephenson has failed to accept ownership of her conduct and hasn’t demonstrated insight into her actions. We consider that due to the nature of Ms Stephenson’s conduct she could pose a risk to individuals using services in the future.”
The panel decided to remove Ms Stephenson from the Register, saying: “We regard the actions taken by Ms Stephenson as being serious enough to warrant the imposition of a Removal Order.
The panel continued: “She has displayed a serious departure from the relevant professional standards set out in the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care and we find her behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a registered person.”
The three-day remote hearing took place over Zoom from 10 to 12 November.