Social worker investigated for allegedly misrepresenting COVID-19 vaccine via email

Authorities have opened an investigation into a social worker in Adelaide following a complaint she made false statements about COVID-19 vaccinations in an email distributed earlier this year.

South Australia’s Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner has imposed an interim restraining order on Matilda Bawden, for at least 12 weeks.

The ordinance, which took effect yesterday, suspends her from providing health services “with respect to” education and information “regarding COVID-19 vaccines.”

In a statement, the commissioner’s office said the order followed a complaint “about emails made by Ms Bawden making false claims about COVID-19 vaccines.”

An email Ms Bawden sent on April 7 said she was suspending services to “service providers, clients, friends and family” who receive immunizations.

Although not a registered healthcare worker, Ms Bawden remains subject to an industry code of conduct.

The Commissioner is a statutory authority with the power to prohibit health service providers from specified services when complaints are under investigation.

Commissioner Grant Davies said this was not the first time that an unregistered healthcare worker has been investigated for statements about COVID-19 vaccinations.

“This is the third interim restraining order we have issued regarding false information about the COVID vaccine recently provided by unregistered healthcare workers,” he said.

“The code applies to all unregistered health services, including social workers.”

Ms. Bawden has worked with clients of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

She is not a registered NDIS provider, but self-managed NDIS customers can choose to spend their funding with her business.

She is allowed to continue providing other services while the investigation is being conducted, the commissioner said.

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