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Social worker fails in High Court bid to lift nine-month suspension

A former Nottingham City Council social worker has failed in her bid to persuade the High Court to lift a nine month’s suspension of her registration imposed by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Janet Redmond was suspended by the HCPC last March when it found her fitness to practise was impaired.

She had been employed by Nottingham between 2009-12 as a Youth Offending Team case manager.

Nottingham sacked her in June 2012 for persistent failure to produce reports and assessments required by the role.

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HHJ David Cooke noted in his judgment that the HCPC panel concluded: “Most of the factual allegations against Ms Redmond were made out and that her failure to produce assessments and reports in a timely manner was as a result of deliberate choice by her as to her method of work, which she was not willing to change despite the management interventions and support provided.”

The panel also concluded that Redmond regarded such paperwork as inherently less important than other aspects of her work, such as face to face meetings and work with the young offenders concerned.

Redmond said the panel had no proper basis to reach the factual conclusions on the evidence presented to it, and that the sanction imposed was excessive.

The judge said, however, that there was “nothing in the material that Ms Redmond has produced which deals a knockout blow to any of the evidence against her, such as might indicate that the panel could not properly have accepted that evidence”.

Redmond argued that her suspension was disproportionate because no harm had been caused, no complaints had been raised about her work in the three years taken for the complaints to be heard and suspension prevented her from participating in continuing professional development.

The judge said he did not consider the penalty imposed “disproportionate or otherwise unjust”.

He added: “In the light of the assessment, which there is no basis to overturn, that Ms Redmond's expressed acknowledgement of the faults in her practice amounted only to limited insight and not a sufficient change in her entrenched attitudes, it was plainly appropriate to impose a sanction which would sufficiently bring home to her the seriousness of the faults found, and the need to provide tangible evidence of change.”

An HCPC spokeswoman said it did not comment on individual cases.

Mark Smulian

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