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Home > Media and Events > Press room

Social worker suspended on grounds of misconduct

03/01/2017 - 15:36

Social worker suspended

Social worker Gemma Williamson has been suspended from the HCPC Register for a period of twelve months following a review of a caution order originally imposed on 2 December 2014.

A panel of the HCPC Conduct and Competence Committee sat with the view to reconsider the decision after an appeal by the Professional Standards Authority resulted in the High Court quashing the original order.

The Panel heard that Ms Williamson’s failings arose in an application for a position at Sunderland Social Services, in which she provided misleading information by stating that she was on a career break during a period when she was in fact working at South Tyneside Council.

Panel Chair Rachel O’Connell commented:

“The Panel considered that there remained some hope that Ms Williamson’s circumstances had improved and she would have the opportunity to reflect on her misconduct and gain insight into it. The making of a Suspension Order would give the necessary public protection and would address the wider public interest, namely the confidence the public have in social workers and the standards expected of them, would be adequately protected.”

The Panel ordered for the name of Gemma Williamson be suspended from the HCPC Register for a period of twelve months.

Ms Williamson was neither present nor represented at the hearing.


Notes to Editors:

1. The Health and Care Professions Council is an independent regulator set up by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001. The HCPC keeps a register for 16 different health and care professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HCPC will take action against professionals who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.

2. Full details of this hearing will be posted online here:

3. Information about the HCPC’s fitness to practise proceedings can be found on the HCPC website here:

4. Anyone can contact us and raise a concern about a professional on our Register. This includes members of the public, employers, the police and other professionals. For more information visit

5. The HCPC currently regulates the following 16 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HCPC. To see the full list of protected titles please see
Arts therapists
Biomedical scientists
Chiropodists / podiatrists
Clinical scientists
Hearing aid dispensers
Occupational therapists
Operating department practitioners
Practitioner psychologists
Prosthetists / orthotists
Social workers in England
Speech and language therapists

6. The HCPC regulates social workers in England. Social workers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are separately regulated by the relevant Care Council in that country.


Caitlin Drysdale
44 (0)20 7840 9806

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