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Social worker banned after advising teenager to self-harm

By Carl Jackson | Staffordshire | Health | Published:

A social worker who advised a highly vulnerable child to self-harm despite only carrying out an ‘on the hoof’ risk assessment ‘in his head’ has been struck off the register.

Former Staffordshire County Council employee David John Steare was involved in a dispute with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) who suspended him after his controversial actions.

And now, following a review of his case, he has been banned from practising altogether after the regulator deemed that he failed to accept the findings of the panel.

The Health and Care Professions Council’s (HCPC) latest report revealed in the last few months Mr Steare made ‘disparaging remarks’ about the body and criticised the review process using ‘inflammatory language’.

He is also understood to have told the regulator he was ‘disappointed’ not to have been struck off following a review in February saying ‘Clearly my last correspondence wasn’t inflammatory enough’.

Prior to the latest hearing Mr Steare emailed the body saying he was ‘getting tired of this’ and confirmed he would not be attending.

Concerns were initially raised while he was working for the county council in February 2013, as a practitioner for the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services Team (CAMHS) at Staffordshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Mr Steare had advised a child, in the ‘highest category of risk’, to only cut herself on alternate days while her mother would tend to her wounds without comment.

While it was deemed the course of action could have been appropriate, he was found guilty of misconduct because he had not consulted professionals and carried out an inadequate risk assessment putting the child at further risk of harm.

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As a result the HCPC suspended Mr Steare last August, reviewing the case in February, but it has now concluded he had failed to provide evidence of ‘insight or remedy’ into his actions.

Their report said: “The Panel concluded that the Registrant’s repeated failure to accept the findings of the final hearing panel and address the serious concerns that have been identified is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration.

"The panel was satisfied that removal from the register is the only means to protect service users and the wider public interest.”

Panel Chair Khairun Butt added: “The panel was not satisfied that there has been any material change in circumstances, since the last review, with regards to the risk to service users and the consequential impact on public trust and confidence.”

Carl Jackson

By Carl Jackson
@CarlJackson_LDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Birmingham City Council.

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