Health visitor struck off after putting 20 vulnerable children at “significant risk”

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A SCOTTISH Health visitor has been struck off after she put 20 vulnerable children at ‘significant risk’.

Roberta Frances Barr accepted allegations made against her involving cases of 20 children and families in Glasgow that she was responsible for.

Many of the children were, or had previously been, on the child protection register and Ms Barr failed to visit them regularly or keep adequate records of their cases.

Her failings were only noticed after she was promoted to a full-time team leader role with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and handed her cases over to colleagues.

A panel hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in Edinburgh this week decided Ms Barr was unfit to practice on the grounds of misconduct and impairment.

In one of the incidents listed among the charges, Ms Barr recorded two children as being at severe risk in December 2014 and, despite concerns of neglect being raised by a support worker three months later, had still not visited them by September.

Another child was visited once in December 2014 and not again by September the following year.

Ms Barr also failed to record as at high risk a child who had been on the protection register and whose parents were causing concern.

In their written decision, the NMC stated: “The panel determined that Ms Barr took significant risks with the safety of vulnerable children in her care and displayed an abdication of her duty as a nurse with regard to the safeguarding of children and families.”

The NMC said the nurse demonstrated lack of insight into her failings by taking up a more senior post when she was not practising safely as a health visitor.

Ms Barr, who was not present or represented at the hearing, admitted to the allegations made against her via email, admitting that she “let the public down and children at risk, which is completely unacceptable”.

She was working as a team-leader two days a week between February and September 2015, but still had a full-time caseload to manage during her other three days as a health visitor for Gilbertfield Street GP Practice in Glasgow.

During the hearing, Ms Barr’s Team Leader, Karin O’Hagan, told the panel: “It’s hard to quantify the impact that it had on the children.

“Towards the end, I did start to wonder why she didn’t know the children’s names.”

Multiple records Mrs Barr had completed about children were identical in detail but with different names.

Child protection development officer Linda Smith, who investigated Ms Barr’s case for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “She should be familiar with the families, you would expect children on the child protection register to be visited monthly.

“I am surprised this was not picked up sooner.”

A spokesman for the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “The board’s internal disciplinary procedures were put in place following a review of the staff member’s practice and we referred her to the NMC.

“This person is no longer employed by the board.”

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