Social worker removed from the Register for breaching confidentiality and inappropriate behaviour

21 February 2019
Social Care Wales

A social worker has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a fitness to practise hearing found her fitness to practise was impaired because of her serious misconduct.

Lucy Bagnall was accused of multiple serious failings in relation to her work as a social worker at Bridgend County Borough Council and Compass Fostering.

The hearing was told that Ms Bagnall breached confidentiality when she shared confidential information she learned as a social worker in online messages and made derogatory and defamatory remarks about a couple whose grandchildren had been taken into care.

Ms Bagnall was also accused of forming an inappropriate personal relationship with a foster carer she had been assigned to supervise.

She was accused of breaching confidentiality by sharing confidential information about her work with the foster carer, and failing to protect the child being fostered by not disclosing that the child was being allowed to watch inappropriately scary films.

The hearing was also told that she colluded with the foster carer to suppress this information.

Ms Bagnall did not attend the two-day hearing at the Holiday Inn in Cardiff last week.

Having heard and seen all the evidence presented, the panel found that Ms Bagnall’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of her serious misconduct.

Explaining the reasons for its decision, the panel said: “In our judgement, each of the matters we have found proved represent conduct that falls short of what would be proper in the field of professional social care practice.

“Indeed, the factual findings we have made around Ms Bagnall’s failures to observe confidentiality, failures to have regard to her duty to protect and inform, and failures to observe professional boundaries cross the threshold for serious misconduct.”

The panel continued: “In our view, Ms Bagnall poses a current risk to individuals using services. We consider that in the absence of any insight or remorse, it is unlikely that Ms Bagnall would make different decisions or behave differently in the future.

“We are of the view that there is a real risk of repetition of the conduct we have found proved in this case.”

The panel decided to remove Ms Bagnall from the Register with immediate effect, saying: “On the evidence before us, only a Removal Order will be adequate in Ms Bagnall’s case.”

About us

We are the professional regulator for social care professionals in Wales. We keep a register of all the social workers, social work students, residential child care managers and workers, domiciliary care managers and adult care home managers in Wales.

We also set standards of education, training, conduct and performance. Everyone registered with us must meet the standards set out in the 'Code of Professional Practice for Social Care'.

If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered social care professional, we have a duty to investigate and, if necessary, take action to protect the public. Fewer than one per cent of the social care professionals on our Register are investigated by our fitness to practise team.