Social Workers

Hylton-Potts - London Based Law Firm Helping People Across the UK since 1999

HELP FOR SOCIAL WORKERS
If you are social worker, and have a professional problem we can help you.

Specialist Lawyer

Rodney Hylton-Potts is highly experienced in advising and helping social workers. He has a high success rate in obtaining the very best possible results for those involved in proceedings before The General Social Care Council (GSCC) He fights for his clients. Call or email for a free consultation and advice in relation to any social work matter. What have you got to lose?
Social Workers Consult the experts.

Consult the experts.
Call or email for a free consultation and advice in relation to any social work matter. What have you got to lose?

We deal with primary care NHS applications.

Free Legal Helpline.

PHONE 020 7381 8111 OR EMAIL law@hylton-potts.com

Help with Employer and Disciplinary Procedures

Complex procedures

This is a reminder of the complexity of the contractual disciplinary procedures that apply to employment, and the potential legal consequences if they are not followed properly.

Sometimes employees are entitled to legal representation in disciplinary proceedings.

The conduct process

What sort of concerns will the GSCC investigate?

Matters that are so serious that they call into question whether a social worker is suitable to continue working in social care. They need to be specific allegations about an identifiable person on the Social Care Register (SCR).

People may refer a matter to us because a registered social worker or social work student:

  • has taken advantage of their role or abused a person who uses services
  • their work has fallen well below the standard that is expected with serious or repeated mistakes
  • has behaved in a way (in or outside work) that their suitability to work in social care is called into question.

(These are just examples and not a full list)

Concerns will be investigated in line with the GSCC’s conduct process. A social worker that is found to be guilty of misconduct can be removed from the register, suspended for a period of up to two years, or have an admonishment (caution, public record) placed against their entry in the SCR for a period of up to five years.

What sorts of things would the GSCC not investigate?

We do not look into general employment issues such as sickness, timekeeping or matters relating to the level of service offered. Complaints about social care services as a whole (rather than the individual social worker or student) should
be directed, for adult social care services, to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and for social care services for children and young people to OFSTED.

The steps of the conduct process

Stage 1: Referral
On receipt of a referral an officer will undertake sufficient enquires to determine whether there is a specific allegation of misconduct against a registered social care worker.

Stage 2: Investigation
The GSCC gathers information about the complaint and looks to see if there is evidence of misconduct that calls into question their suitability to be registered. If the GSCC investigation concludes that there is evidence of misconduct, the
matter is referred to a conduct committee hearing. If the GSCC does not reach this conclusion, it will close the complaint at this stage.

Stage 3: Committees
The GSCC’s independent conduct committee, made up of lay members who do not have a background in the delivery of social care services and experts from the social care field, meets to establish whether there is evidence of misconduct that affects the social worker’s suitability to remain working. If so, it decides on the appropriate sanction (i.e. removal, suspension etc.). Social workers have the right of appeal to the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber within the First-tier Tribunal

Interim Suspension Orders
The GSCC will always consider whether there is a need to apply for an interim suspension order (ISO) from the point at which we receive a referral until a case is closed. An ISO temporarily suspends a social care worker or student from the
Social Care Register.

The GSCC’s Committees

Preliminary proceedings committee (PPC)

This committee will decide whether to impose an Interim Suspension Order (ISO). If an ISO is imposed the registrant will not be able to practice as a social worker for the duration of that order. The GSCC will refer a social worker to this committee if it is felt:
(a) necessary for the protection of members of the public; and/or
(b) otherwise in the public interest; and/or
(c) in the interests of the registrant concerned

The PPC will review ISOs when they come up to expiry to see if they should be extended or revoked.

Conduct committee
The conduct committee hearing is usually held in public and uses the civil standard of proof. It will consider evidence and decide if the social worker has committed misconduct. If so, it will decide which sanction should be imposed upon the registrant. The conduct committee can decide to:

Remove the you from the Social Care Register (SCR). This prevents you from working as a social worker.

Suspend the social worker from the SCR for a period not exceeding two years. This would prevent you from working as a social worker for the period of the suspension.

Issue the social worker with an Admonishment (a caution / public record) for a period of up to of five years.

The committee can also decide to issue no sanction

If the case reaches the conduct committee stage, the registrant can attend to put their case either in person or through a legal or trade union representative or a representative from their professional body. You have the right to appeal against the outcome of the conduct committee hearing to the . Health, Education and Social Care Chamber within the First-tier Tribunal

Conduct hearings
The conduct hearing is the final stage in the conduct process.

The hearing is usually held in public and uses the civil standard of proof. It will hear evidence and decide if the social worker has committed misconduct. If so, it will decide if action should be taken against you. If a social worker
is found to have committed misconduct, the conduct committee can impose:

  • Removal from the Social Care Register which would prevent them from working as a social worker
  • Suspension from the Social Care Register which would prevent them from working as a social worker for a set period of time
  • Admonishment (a mark next to their name on the Social Care Register)

Panel (committee) members
The General Social Care Council (GSCC) has appointed 87 committee members who sit on its committees to consider applications for registration and the issue of alleged Misconduct by social workers and students, who are registered on the Social Care Register (SCR). These members are independent from the investigative process.

There are 4 Committees which the pool of members are selected to sit on:

  • Registration Committee
  • Preliminary proceedings Committee
  • Conduct Committee
  • Restoration Committee
  • The quorum of each committee is three, and each committee will sit with either three or five members present.

The majority of members for each committee are lay persons.

The Chair of the committee is a lay person.

There is always a member of the committee who is appointed to the committee who has experience of
understanding of the area of social care work practised by the Registrant whose case is under consideration.

Challenging Exam Results

A disappointing result/grade or failure is not the end of the road.  Expert advice and the law can help you.

We can help if you are not happy with the result of your General Pharmaceutical Council (GPHC) examination results.

Examining bodies have duties. We operate highly competitive fixed fees.

Contact us by phone or email for a free expert opinion.

Specialist Lawyer

Consult the experts.

Call for a free consultation and advice in relation to any social work matter. What have you got to lose?

Free Legal Helpline.

PHONE 020 7381 8111 OR EMAIL law@hylton-potts.com