A worker in a residential care home for vulnerable adults has been struck off for drinking alcohol on duty and calling a woman who had soiled herself “a f****** stinking b****”.
Helen Simpson was found to have breached fitness to practise rules, while employed by Abbey House Residential Care Home in Kirriemuir.
Among the allegations were that Simpson had verbally abused residents, some of whom have dementia, when they had bouts of incontinence.
Consumed alcohol on shift
It was also found she had drunk alcohol while on shift on or around Hogmanay 2019. The rest of the incidents occurred on dates between June 2016 and January 2020.
Among the allegations proven by Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) was that, when a vulnerable service user had soiled herself, Simpson said: “Well we are not here to clean up this s***,” and/or that she was “fed up cleaning this s***,” or words to that effect.
She also said to the same woman: “You filthy b****, you should be kicked out,” or similar words, and called the lady: “A f****** stinking b****.”
Dismissive of woman ‘having trouble breathing’
On another occasion, Simpson told a resident: “Oh just calm down,” and/or “you’re fine, nothing wrong with you,” while the person had indicated she was having trouble breathing.
Simpson also grabbed one woman’s arm and “forcefully pulled her out of bed”.
The watchdog found that during the same incident, she told the lady: “You’re not bloody getting a drink as you will end up p****** more,” or words to that effect.
Simpson gave the same woman other verbal abuse, including insulting her relative, claiming her daughter was “horrible to her”.
She also said that the woman buzzing for assistance was “ridiculous”.
On more than one occasion, Simpson moved service users on her own, when safety instructions said that two people were required to carry this out.
Didn’t treat people with dignity or respect
In making its decision to strike Simpson from the register, the SSSC said: “Social services workers have a duty to treat the people they provide care and support to with dignity and respect.
“On multiple occasions, you verbally abused service users, which is a failure to meet this standard and an abuse of the trust placed in you as a social services worker.
“Your actions were likely to cause distress to the residents you directed your verbal abuse at and may have made them feel unsafe in their own home, and wary of asking for assistance in future.”
It said that drinking alcohol on shift could have led to Simpson’s judgment and ability to work safely being impaired – placing herself, her colleagues and the residents at risk of harm.
Dementia sufferers ‘particularly vulnerable’
The watchdog says the behaviour was likely to cause fear and distress to the service users involved, many of whom were “particularly vulnerable” due to living with dementia.
It added: “This behaviour breaches fundamental tenets of the profession, in that it is a complete failure to treat the residents with dignity and respect.
“The behaviour is attitudinal in nature, which makes it harder to remediate, and there is no evidence of any steps towards remediation being taken.”
‘Treated residents as an inconvenience’
The watchdog says it is likely that the behaviour could be repeated in the future if Simpson is allowed to carry on working as a carer.
It says she “appeared to have treated the residents as an inconvenience, rather than as human beings who needed cared for”.
“The behaviour suggests that you are not suited to working in a caring and patient profession,” it added.
A staff member at the Kirriemuir home declined to comment on the case but confirmed Simpson no longer works there.