A care worker from Fife has been struck off after repeatedly bullying a resident at a home in Kirkcaldy.
An investigation found Nikki Cochrane had bullied a resident at Marchmont Residential Care Home in Kirkcaldy.
The Scottish Social Services Council found a number of allegations against Ms Cochrane were proven, including that she tried to stop the resident spending time with a friend.
Ms Cochrane declined to comment on the allegations made against her.
Care worker ‘found it funny’
The panel heard she had tried to block the resident from sitting in the communal area.
It found that Ms Cochrane had said to a colleague, “quick, get everybody through so [the resident] can’t sit”, or words to that effect.
As the resident, identified as AA, tried to speak to Ms Cochrane she sang over him, saying: “that’s because I can’t be a**** listening to you”.
The panel also found Ms Cochrane told a colleague to put a standing aid in front of a chair positioned next to another resident, identified as BB, to stop AA from sitting next to them.
The incidents were said to have taken place during October 2019 when she was employed at Marchmont Residential Home, operated by Beechwood Care.
Three colleagues from the care home on Bennochy Road in Kirkcaldy gave evidence against their former colleague, including one person identified as a senior carer.
One witness told the panel he believed Ms Cochrane’s motivation for keep AA away from the other was that she “found it funny”.
“He confirmed that there was no instruction from management to keep them separate,” the report said.
‘Serious emotional harm’
A second witness said Ms Cochrane neglected her other duties in her pursuit to prevent the friendship between AA and BB.
In an interview with her employer following an investigation, Ms Cochrane denied the allegations.
Ms Cochrane did not engage with the regulatory panel’s investigation, the report said, despite indicating by phone that she would.
It concluded saying Ms Cochrane had “caused serious emotional harm to that service user, apparently for your own gratification, and had tried to involve your work colleagues in your actions”.
He had been reduced to tears on several occasions
The report added: “You had acted knowingly and deliberately, apparently setting out to maximise the effect on AA.
“Your behaviour appeared to the panel to be malicious. The panel regarded the allegations as extremely serious.”
Regarding the affect on AA, the panel said: “Your behaviour had caused significant distress to him.
“He had been reduced to tears on several occasions, was very upset, had to retreat to his room, had asked to leave the home, and had asked other carers to make a complaint on his behalf.
“He was unable to understand why you had picked on him. BB had also been distressed.
Resident ‘unable to understand’ why he was picked on
“Your work colleagues had also been distressed by your behaviour towards AA, and ZZ had been reduced to tears.”
On a possible sanction, it was concluded a removal order from the register of social care assistants was the only appropriate outcome.
The report said: “The panel therefore came to the conclusion that the appropriate sanction was a removal order.
‘Significant abuse of trust’
“They agreed that this was appropriate in the circumstances of this case. They noted that there had been serious and deliberate misconduct by you. There had been a significant abuse of trust.
“There appeared to be a significant and persistent lack of insight into the seriousness of your actions and their consequences. There was a serious departure from the relevant
professional standards set out in the code.
“There was a pattern of repeated unacceptable behaviour. There was no evidence that there was likely to be any remediation.”
A spokesperson for Beechwood Care in Fife said they had nothing to add to the panel’s findings.