Hearings

27 March 2014

Neil David Phillips Back

Decision

The Committee imposes a removal order.

Reasons

In considering which if any sanction was appropriate the Committee noted the following aggravating and mitigating factors.

The Registrant committed a serious assault on a vulnerable person in his care and was dishonest in his subsequent dealings with his employers and the police. This misconduct took place in work and caused harm to a service user. The Committee has found that his actions amounted to a serious breach of the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers. The Registrant has failed to engage with the Care Council for Wales during its investigation.

The Registrant is said by the police to have apologised for wasting police time by lying in interview. He also acknowledged to a deputy manager at Mountains Care Home that he had let himself and the home down. Notwithstanding those limited expressions of regret, the Committee concluded that there was no evidence of insight into the effect of his actions on service user A and no evidence of remorse for the effect on service user A.

The Committee heard from Mr Mears that there were no concerns about the Registrant’s work at Stepping Stones during the brief period of his employment there. The Registrant has a good history prior to the events of 26 March 2013.

The Committee first considered whether to close the matter without sanction but considered the misconduct too serious.

Next the Committee considered whether to impose an Admonishment but decided that this would not reflect the seriousness of the misconduct so as to protect the public interest by upholding the good standing of the social care profession. Neither would it protect service users. The Registrant would be free to return immediately to work with vulnerable people without any remedial steps having been taken.

The Committee considered whether to impose a Conditions of Practice Order. The Committee has no information about the Registrant’s current employment. At the time that he was cautioned, he gave his occupation as a builder. It would not be practical therefore to impose conditions. In any event, the Committee could not devise conditions that were likely to be adequate to mitigate the risk arising from a violent assault aggravated by subsequent dishonesty. The imposition of conditions of practice would require a measure of insight that is not present in this case.

The Committee then considered whether to impose a Suspension Order. The Committee noted that the Registrant would be free to return to work after the period of any suspension without any remedial steps being undertaken. This outcome would not therefore provide adequate protection to service users. The Committee gave consideration to the imposition of a Suspension Order with Conditions. For the reasons set out above, the Committee was unable to formulate practical conditions which would be adequate to reduce the risk to service users arising from the Registrant’s return to work. There is no evidence that the Registrant would comply with any conditions imposed.

The Committee finds that it is necessary to impose a Removal Order. This is the only the sanction which properly reflects the seriousness of this misconduct and it is the only measure which is capable of providing proper protection to service users.

The Committee was satisfied that a Removal Order was the proportionate sanction having balanced the seriousness of the misconduct, the risk factors and the mitigating factors set out above.

The Registrant is currently subject to an Interim Suspension Order and the Committee now discharges that order.