GSCC: Social worker struck off for sexual relationships with users

A Somerset approved social worker has been struck off after a conduct committee found he had abused his position by having sexual relationships with two vulnerable service users.

The General Social Care Council committee said that Mark Wooldridge, 50, from Taunton, had “abused his position and power to engage in seriously inappropriate conduct” in relation to the women, whose cases were allocated to him.

Wooldridge also sent sexually explicit and inappropriate emails to female colleagues at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, a charge he admitted. But in relation to the two service users, he only admitted kissing and sending a sexually explicit letter to one of them.

“Serious harm compounded by denial”

The GSCC committee said his behaviour had caused them “serious harm” that had been compounded by his denial, which meant they had to give evidence at the hearing.

On Tuesday, one of the women, known as Miss B, told the committee she had had sex with Wooldridge several times when she had a serious drink problem and needed help, between August 2005 and April 2006.

She added that she had few friends and Wooldridge made her feel her drinking was not a problem so she had “carte blanche to carry on drinking”.

Miss B said Wooldridge had visited her a number of times at home. She eventually came to feel that she needed to “keep him sweet” because he was helping her get funding for an expensive alcohol and drug treatment centre.

Social worker cleared of misconduct

Meanwhile, a social worker from Essex accused of falsifying supervision notes has been cleared of misconduct after a five-day hearing before another GSCC panel.

The committee concluded there was insufficient evidence to find that Philomena Lemon, from Barking, had acted dishonestly, saying evidence produced by one of the witnesses was unreliable.

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