THE manager of a Wrexham care home has been suspended for 12 months after admitting an inappropriate relationship.
Hugh Drewhurst Wynne, a Prospects for Young People employee, was told he had abused a position of trust by taking advantage of a vulnerable user of the service.
Wynne had initiated a sexual relationship with the mother of a severely disabled child receiving respite care at the home and was also found to have acted dishonestly by filling in timesheets incorrectly.
Ruth Brooks, who chaired the two-day Care Council for Wales misconduct tribunal at Mold’s Beaufort Park Hotel said: “The registrant [Wynne] showed a lack of regard to his serious inappropriate actions as a care home manager.
“The consequence of this was that a child was no longer able to use the service.
“Public confidence and trust in social care workers must be upheld at all times.”
She said Wynne had been motivated by sexual desires but felt it would be disproportionate to impose the removal of his registration in what she recognised as an isolated incident in his 20-year career, something he said would have been ‘catastrophic’.
Wynne, 45, had obtained the telephone number of the woman, who retained her anonymity throughout the proceedings, during an initial assessment meeting to discuss the needs of her child.
He then initiated text messages between the pair before they embarked on a sexual relationship between April and June of last year.
Wynne also sent text messages of a sexually explicit nature.
The mother removed her child from the care of the home when Wynne ended the relationship which he then reported to his employers.
Wynne had also filled out a timesheet showing he had been working while he had in fact been engaged in sexual activity with the woman.
Chris Edwards, a co-director of Prospects for Young people which has its headquarters at Blackwood Business Park, described Wynne during the tribunal as a “caring, committed, passionate and enthusiastic” manager who he trusted.
Wynne, who had continued to work for the company’s Arbennig care home in Coedpoeth until the proceedings began said: “I apologise deeply and regret what has happened.
“I should have known better and understand the significance of my actions.
“I understand I am also guilty of a dishonesty charge but there was no intent there.”
The tribunal heard Wynne had no financial gain to make by filling out his timesheet incorrectly.
In a statement, Prospects for Young People co-director Chris Edwards after the tribunal said: “We are disappointed and saddened that someone with over 20 years within social care, who had a previously exemplary record, has effectively ended his career as a registered manager in this way today.”