Social worker struck off for misconduct

HCPC strikes off social worker who failed to engage after a suspension for failings in record-keeping and carrying out assessments

Published on 4th September 2018

The Health and Care Professions Council has struck a social worker from the register for misconduct.

Mr Roger St Elmo Cumberbatch was working within Southwark Council’s Children with Disabilities Team when concerns were raised about his work towards the end of 2014.

Following a period of support, including formal and informal supervision, and guidance meetings where Mr Cumberbatch's performance was discussed, an investigation was carried out.

The Children with Disabilities Team was restructured in July 2015 and after this, Mr Cumberbatch's direct line manager sat next to him, providing management support, and conducting formal supervision sessions with him.

A final hearing of the HCPTS Panel on 22 to 24 August 2017 found Mr Cumberbatch's failings between December 2013 to August 2015 in respect of 16 service users, who were all vulnerable children, amounted to misconduct. The proven allegations included record-keeping failures and failing to undertake assessments.

That panel also determined that Mr Cumberbatch's fitness to practise was thereby impaired on both the personal and public components, and imposed a substantive 12 month Suspension Order and an immediate Interim Order of Suspension.

The Review Panel met last month in order to review the suspension order. However, they found that Mr Cumberbatch had not engaged nor made any representations.

The Panel concluded that, as there was no evidence of any insight or the remedying of Mr Cumberbatch's misconduct, indeed there was a total lack of engagement by him throughout the whole proceedings, his fitness to practise remains impaired on both the personal and public components at the current time by reason of his misconduct.

Panel Chair, Mrs Marian Killen, said: “Roger St Elmo Cumberbatch’s fitness to practise remains impaired at the current time by reason of his misconduct. The nature of the misconduct needed active remediation by Mr Cumberbatch before he would be safe to return to unrestricted practice, but he has not demonstrated any intention to address his proven failings.”

The Panel determined that a Striking off Order with effect from the expiry of the present Suspension Order was the only proportionate sanction where there has been a complete lack of engagement by the Registrant.

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