Bridgend social worker removed from Register for multiple serious failings

A social worker has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after Social Care Wales found her fitness to practise was impaired because of her serious misconduct.

Lucy Bagnall was accused of multiple serious failings in relation to her work as a social worker at Bridgend County Borough Council and Compass Fostering.

The hearing was told that Ms Bagnall breached confidentiality when she shared confidential information she learned as a social worker in online messages and made derogatory and defamatory remarks about a couple whose grandchildren had been taken into care.

Ms Bagnall was also accused of forming an inappropriate personal relationship with a foster carer she had been assigned to supervise.

She was accused of breaching confidentiality by sharing confidential information about her work with the foster carer, and failing to protect the child being fostered by not disclosing that the child was being allowed to watch inappropriately scary films.

The hearing was also told that she colluded with the foster carer to suppress this information.

Explaining the reasons for its decision, the panel said: “In our judgement, each of the matters we have found proved represent conduct that falls short of what would be proper in the field of professional social care practice.

“Indeed, the factual findings we have made around Ms Bagnall’s failures to observe confidentiality, failures to have regard to her duty to protect and inform, and failures to observe professional boundaries cross the threshold for serious misconduct.”

The panel continued: “In our view, Ms Bagnall poses a current risk to individuals using services. We consider that in the absence of any insight or remorse, it is unlikely that Ms Bagnall would make different decisions or behave differently in the future.

“We are of the view that there is a real risk of repetition of the conduct we have found proved in this case.”

The panel decided to remove Ms Bagnall from the Register with immediate effect, saying: “On the evidence before us, only a Removal Order will be adequate in Ms Bagnall’s case.”

Ms Bagnall did not attend the two-day hearing in Cardiff last week.