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North-east care worker given one-year ban after showing ‘deliberate disregard for residents‘ dignity‘

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An Aberdeenshire care home worker who was “rough” with residents and told one to “shut up” has been suspended for a year.

Lorna Lowe’s behaviour at an unnamed facility in Inverurie was so concerning to colleagues she was reported to management twice about her misconduct.

And, after appearing before a Scottish Social Services Council hearing, she has been banned from the job for 12 months.

Officials at the watchdog said the risk of her repeating this behaviour again was “far from low”.

The allegations of Ms Lowe’s misconduct centred around four days in July 2019.

On Monday, July 15 she “forcefully” took the hand of a resident and put it back on her lap after she had reached for a handrail.

She then told the woman to “shut up” and “stop making those noises”, and was acting so quickly the resident was left “confused” as to what was happening.

Several incidents were also reported on Friday, July 26, when her actions led one resident to yell “leave me alone” at her.

Later Ms Lowe was caring for another, CC, who required protective repose boots on her feet and was at a “really high risk” of bed sores.

But she took a pillowcase and said: “If it has no creases, this is all she needs between her knees.”

And after being reminded of the woman’s condition, and having her red heel and toe pointed out, Ms Lowe said something to the effect of: “Och, she’s fine without them.

“She probably doesn’t even feel that.”

Ms Lowe later admitted that she had refused to put CC’s boots on, leaving the woman at risk of “skin degradation”.

Later that day the care worker failed to properly check on a doubly-incontinent resident.

She disregarded a colleague’s concerns that the woman’s pad still needed checked and said: “But she has a catheter.”

In the days which followed Ms Lowe remarked, in the presence of a resident she was speaking about: “You could at least have got her ready.”

She also asked if a colleague who had been waiting to speak to her had “a tongue in her head” – a comment taken to be “rude and derogatory”.

The SSSC panel found Ms Lowe’s fitness to practise was “impaired” as a result of her misconduct.

She acknowledged that some pain she was suffering may have contributed to her behaviour, but “did not excuse” it.

She also showed understanding of how her actions had affected others.

At the close of the hearing, which Ms Lowe opted not to attend, the panel reporter noted that her work history had been otherwise “unblemished”.

She was banned from working in the care sector for 12 months.

The reporter said: “You have shown a deliberate disregard for the dignity and autonomy of vulnerable individuals in their own home.

“Your misconduct placed certain service users at risk of injury, particularly those who were receiving end of life care.

“Your misconduct caused emotional harm to vulnerable service users who relied upon you to provide for their needs.”

Tamhealth Limited, which ran the affected care home at the time of the incidents, was placed into administration in December 2019.

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