Birmingham & Black Country

Solihull social worker struck off after family death fraud

A social worker has been struck off after lying about the deaths of her parents, uncle, aunt, brother and ex-husband, to get time off work.

A two-day hearing found Rachael Miles fraudulently claimed compassionate and carers' leave, taking 66 days off.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) panel heard she told Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council her ex-husband had hung himself.

She was described as a capable social worker suffering ill health.

Ms Miles' first claim in February 2010, less than two weeks after starting work for the council, was that her father had been in a car crash.

'Misleading information'

The following month she claimed her mother had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, and later that year that she had died during surgery.

In 2011 she told bosses her brother died. She later said her ex-husband had killed himself, and she needed to identify his body.

In November that year, Ms Miles asked for more time off after telling bosses her uncle and aunt had died seven days apart.

The council launched an investigation and decided to redeploy her to another post in the authority, but she resigned instead.

The HCPC struck her off its register and placed an interim suspension order on Ms Miles, who can choose to appeal against the decision.

Ms Miles did not attend the HCPC hearing in London and was not represented.

The panel found she provided "false, inaccurate and misleading information" and as a result "fraudulently claimed paid compassionate leave", all of which constituted misconduct impairing fitness to practise.

She has offered to repay the council any money owed from periods of paid leave.

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