Borley v CCFW, Court of Appeal, April 11, 2011, [2011] UKFTT 204 (HESC)

Resolution Date:April 11, 2011
Actores:Borley v CCFW
 
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[2011] UKFTT 203 (HESC)Care Standards Tribunal Between: Deborah BorleyAppellantVCare Council for WalesRespondent[2011]1875.SW-SUSBefore: Mrs Meleri Tudur, Tribunal JudgeMr Graham Harper, Specialist MemberMr Andrew Wilson, Specialist MemberDECISIONHearing held at the Magistrates' Court, Cardiff on the 1 April 2011.Ms D Borley attended the hearing and was represented by Mr M Weinbren, Advice and Representation Officer, British Association of Social Workers (BASW)Mr D Mortimer, solicitor from Morgan Bruce represented the Respondent.Appeal1. Ms Borley (``the Appellant'') appeals under section 68 of the Care Standards Act 2000 against the decision of the Preliminary Proceedings Committee of the Care Council for Wales (``the Respondent'') made on the 24th February 2011, to impose an Interim Suspension Order upon the Applicant for a period of six months.The Law2. By virtue of section 56 of the Care Standards Act 2000 the Respondent maintains a register of social workers and section 59 allows the Respondent to determine the circumstances by which an individual can be sanctioned and removed from the Register. The relevant rules for the purposes of this case are the Care Council for Wales (Conduct) Rules 2005.3. Rule 5 of the General Social Care Council (Conduct) Rules 2008 provides that it shall be the duty of the Preliminary Proceedings Committee to consider any complaint against a Registrant referred to it and decide inter alia, whether it is necessary for the protection of members of the public or is otherwise in the public interest or is in the interests of the Registrant concerned for the committee to make an Interim Suspension Order.4. Where the decision is made to impose an Interim Suspension Order (ISO), Rule 5(4) provides that the initial duration shall not exceed six months.5. Section 68 of the Care Standards Act 2000 provides that an appeal against a decision in respect of registration shall lie to the Tribunal. 6. On appeal, section 68(2) provides that the Tribunal may confirm the decision or direct that it shall not have effect and the Tribunal shall also have power under section 68(3) to vary any condition in force, direct that any such condition shall cease to have effect or to direct that any such condition as it thinks fit shall have effect in respect of that person. 7. When the original application is considered by the committee, the committee should bear in mind the effects of any sanction on the Registrant and whether it is proportionate. The need for public protection and the maintenance of the public's confidence in social care provision must be balanced against the consequences of an ISO upon the Registrant.8. The Committee must take into consideration the seriousness of the allegations and any evidence relating to the likelihood of any further incidents of harm, particularly to service users. 9. The powers of the Tribunal on appeal against an ISO is the same as the Preliminiary Proceedings Committee in that it considers the gravity of the allegations and the nature of the evidence, the risk of harm to members of the public, the wider public interest and the prejudice to the Applicant if the order was continued. It can consider any additional information received by either party after the Preliminary Proceedings Committee. It does not make findings of fact.Background10. The Appellant qualified as a social worker from Cardiff University in February 2005 and was registered with the Care Council for Wales on the 13 July 2005.11. She worked for the City and County of Swansea Council through a recruitment agency from 2008 until August 2010.12. From August 2010 to January 2011, she worked for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council via the Sanctuary Recruitment Agency.13. On the 12 October 2010, the Care Council for Wales received a form completed by Mr and Mrs William Edwards reporting concerns about a registered social worker, namely the Appellant. At the time, Mr and Mrs Edwards were pursuing a Stage 2 complaint against the City and County of Swansea Council, which included allegations against the Appellant.14. The complaint was referred to the Preliminary Proceedings Committee by the investigating officer, Louise Williams who recommended that the only consideration for the panel is to make a decision on imposing an ISO. She made the recommendation on the grounds that the allegation are of a serious nature and could put members of the public and service users at risk if the Appellant was not prevented from practising. She listed the allegations against the Appellant as being:a) Lack of case notes and recording;b) inaccuracies and inability to differentiate fact from opinionc) poor professional...

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