A domiciliary care worker from Blaenau Gwent has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found his fitness to practise is currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
The hearing was told that on 2 June 2020, Anthony Smith was caught on CCTV stealing alcohol from a person in his care and drinking it on duty.
He was also caught urinating in the person’s kitchen sink, failing to change his gloves after the incident and failing to wear a face mask throughout the visit, even though he was having coughing and sneezing fits.
The panel also heard that Mr Smith falsely claimed that a person in his care was trying to self-harm and that he had to forcibly remove a blade from them.
In addition, on 23 May 2020, Mr Smith failed to visit all the people allocated to him and failed to tell his employer that he had gone off shift and did not respond to calls or texts from his employer. Mr Smith provided differing accounts to his employer of why he had left his shift that day, including that he had fallen asleep in his car and that his wife had tested positive for Covid-19.
Having heard the evidence, the panel decided that Mr Smith’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
Explaining its decision, the panel said: “[T]he conduct we have found proved very obviously breached the trust that vulnerable people and their families placed in Mr Smith to provide the safe and appropriate care that they were entitled to expect.”
The panel continued: “[T]here is no evidence of any meaningful insight before us, nor is there any evidence of Mr Smith taking any steps to remedy the actions which led to the breaches of the Code that we have identified.”
Explaining further, the panel said: “Mr Smith’s lack of insight creates a current risk to individuals using services. This, in our judgement, aggravates matters as it demonstrates a lack of insight into the potential effect of his conduct on vulnerable people to whom he owed a professional duty.
“Looking forward this is a matter of significant concern because Mr Smith does, in our view, pose a similar risk to vulnerable individuals with whom he might work in the future.”
The panel decided to remove Mr Smith from the Register, saying, “[T]here has been a serious departure from the relevant standards set out in the Code. We do not consider that any lesser disposal would protect the public. This is because of the risk of harm we judge to be present, the lack of both insight and remediation to which we have already referred, and the findings of dishonesty we have made.”
Mr Smith was not present at the four-day remote hearing, which was held over Zoom last week.