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Social worker removed from the Register for failing to safeguard children

23 July 2019
Social Care Wales

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

Susan West was the co-owner and registered person at the Scallywags Day Nursery and Private Nursery School in Wrexham, which cared for 69 children under the age of 12 years, at the time of the incident in question in October 2016. The nursery has since closed.

During the hearing, Ms West admitted failing to refer a safeguarding allegation involving a child and a senior member of staff to Wrexham County Borough Council within 24 hours as required by law, putting the nursery’s children at risk of harm.

Having considered Ms West’s admissions and the evidence presented, the committee found that Ms West’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of misconduct and lack of competence.

Explaining its decision, the committee told her: “We were left with the impression that you have a very poor level of understanding of safeguarding, and the actions that must be taken when confronted with a safeguarding issue.

The committee continued: “We cannot be satisfied you would not make different decisions in future. This leads us to the conclusion that you pose a current risk to individuals using services.”

The committee decided to remove Ms West from the Register, telling her: “We recognise that this is an unusual sanction in a case that involves a single failure to report a safeguarding issue.

“However, we have reached this conclusion because, in our judgement, you have shown a persistent lack of insight into the seriousness of your actions, and the consequences of those actions.”

The committee continued: “We are of the view that there is no other way to protect the public, and that confidence in the profession would be seriously undermined by allowing you to remain on the Register when your knowledge of safeguarding issues is so poor.”

The three-day hearing took place last week at the Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold.