A domiciliary care worker based in Gwynedd 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 his serious misconduct and criminal conviction.
The hearing was told that Iestyn Owen went to work on 6 March 2020 under the influence of cannabis, which was detected in a work-based drug test.
Three days later, Mr Owen was convicted at Caernarfon Magistrates’ Court of driving under the influence of MDMA following a separate incident in October 2019.
Having heard the evidence, the panel decided that Mr Owen’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of his serious misconduct and criminal conviction.
Explaining its decision, the panel said: “Mr Owen worked with vulnerable individuals. We heard that this involved going into vulnerable people's homes and sometimes caring for them on an individual basis.
“We also heard that it was within Mr Owen's role to drive vulnerable individuals to activities and other community-based appointments.
“There is, in our view, a clear and obvious risk of significant harm to vulnerable individuals being cared for by an individual who uses illegal drugs.”
The panel continued: “[T]here is no evidence before us to the effect that Mr Owen has developed any insight into his drug issue, even though he has completed a rehabilitation course as part of the sentence imposed by Caernarfon Magistrates’ Court…
“We note that Mr Owen says he only completed that course because he was advised to by his solicitor, not because he accepts that he has a drug dependency that required addressing.”
The panel added: “We consider that in the absence of any real insight or any meaningful remediation, it is unlikely that Mr Owen would make different decisions or behave differently in the future.
“This means that not only is he liable to pose a risk to users of care and support in the future, but he is also likely to behave in a way that undermines public confidence in the profession, and likely to breach fundamental tenets of the profession.”
The panel decided to remove Mr Owen from the Register, saying: “We bear in mind that this is the most stringent disposal that is available to us, but have concluded that, in Mr Owen’s case, there is no other way of protecting the public from the risks that he presents.”
Mr Owen was not present at the three-day hearing, which was held over Zoom last week.