A domiciliary care worker from Newport has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a Social Care Wales hearing found her fitness to practise is currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
The hearing was told that in June 2020, Natalie Bidgood stole prescribed medication, namely Zapain, from the home of a vulnerable person in her care and then lied about it to her employer.
The hearing was told that during a home care visit on 12 June, Ms Bidgood told a colleague that she was taking the Zapain from the person receiving care and support’s home.
Another colleague found the Zapain missing during a medication check on 16 June and a few hours later, Ms Bidgood was seen near the vulnerable person’s home when she had no reason to be there. Later that day, another colleague found the Zapain had reappeared in the medication cupboard.
After considering the evidence, the panel concluded that Ms Bidgood’s behaviour was dishonest and lacked integrity, and that her fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.
The panel explained its decision, saying: “Ms. Bidgood removed prescription medication from [the person receiving care and support], for what we have found to be self-serving reasons...
“The effect of that removal was to deprive [the person] of [their] own medication, which had been assessed as being necessary by a medical professional.”
The panel continued: “There is no evidence of any actual insight before us, nor is there any of Ms Bidgood taking any steps to remedy the actions which led to the breaches of the Code [of Professional Practice] that we have identified.
“Consequently, we have nothing before us to persuade us that this conduct would not be repeated in future.”
The panel added: “Ms Bidgood’s lack of insight creates a current risk to users of care and support. This, in our judgement, aggravates matters as it demonstrates a lack of insight into the potential effect of her conduct on vulnerable users of care and support.
“Looking forward, that is a matter of significant concern because Ms Bidgood does, in our view, pose a similar risk to vulnerable individuals with whom she might work in the future (and to whom she would have a duty of care).”
The panel decided to remove Ms Bidgood from the Register, saying: “We do not consider that any lesser disposal would protect the public, given the lack of both insight and remediation to which we have already referred, the finding of dishonesty we have made and the risk of repetition we have found.”
Ms Bidgood was not present at the four-day hearing, which took place over Zoom last week.