Autism carer who went to work under the influence of alcohol is struck off

A social worker caring for young people with autism in Moray has been struck off following a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) hearing.

Emma Sim was suspended from her post at the Waulkmill Project in Elgin on September 7, 2013 after she had been reported for turning up under the influence of alcohol the day before.

She was later charged by the SSSC of breaching alcohol and substance misuse policy and putting service users at risk.

In a report on the case the SSSC said: “In presenting herself at work under the influence of alcohol there was a risk that the registrant was unable to perform her duties to required standards of competence, alertness, vigilance and safety, whilst placing service users, colleagues and others at risk of harm.

“A Removal Order is both necessary and justified in the public interest and to ensure the continuing trust and confidence in the social service profession, in the Council as regulator and in the integrity of the statutory Register.”

The report listed several factors on which the decision was based, noting that Ms Sim had not cooperated with the SSSC investigation and not displayed “any insight into her behaviour”.

The report did, however, acknowledge a previous good history with her employer, and concluded: “Having been advised of the consequences, and having been recommended to
take legal advice, the Registrant admitted the charge and misconduct and consented to the imposition of the Removal Order on 5 November 2014.”

A spokesman for Ms Sim’s employer, Scottish Autism, told the Press and Journal: “We can confirm that a member of staff involved in our Moray service was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol while on duty on September 6, 2013.

“As part of our robust HR procedures we progressed with the disciplinary process, which including reporting the matter to the SSSC.

“A hearing took place on October 11 which the individual in question did not attend. Since then, the SSSC has concluded that the individual is to be struck off their register.”

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