Social worker struck off for misconduct at Norfolk independent school

Monday, April 7, 2014
6:03 PM

A social worker, who used unnecessary force against a student with autism, has been struck off.

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Amy Royal was suspended by a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) conduct committee last year following an incident at the independent Acorn Park School in Banham, near Attleborough, in 2011.

A review hearing in London on Friday ruled that the social worker should be struck off after failing to attend her latest conduct and competence committee hearing and providing no evidence that she had remedied her behaviour.

A hearing last year found that Miss Royal did not follow the care plan for a service user with autism on June 3 2011 and left the girl alone in the bath despite knowing there were risks to her safety.

The social worker was also found to have restrained the girl unnecessarily in one of the residential houses of the school after pulling a duvet out from under her on a bed and pinning her against a radiator in a bedroom.

A report by the HCPC said the registered social worker continued to “pose a real risk” to members of the public and the only appropriate sanction was one of striking off.

A conduct hearing heard that “actual and potential” harm was caused by Miss Royal’s actions and there was “no evidence of remorse or insight.”

The HCPC added: “The acts found proved were serious. Although they took place on a single day they covered a variety of acts such that they amounted to repeated behaviour. The panel does not consider that the behaviour complained of was done deliberately but was done in such an uncaring manner.”

The social worker began working for Acorn Park School in November 2010 and was deputy team leader. A disciplinary hearing was held on June 20 2011 and she was dismissed for gross misconduct by her employer.

Acorn Park is an independent, specialist day and residential school that caters for children and young people aged four to 19-years-old who have autism and associated difficulties.

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