An Inverness support worker has been sanctioned for abusive and aggressive behaviour towards colleagues and a resident at a care home.
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) issued Gillian Ash with a warning and placed her under sanction for two years, saying her fitness to practice had been impaired.
The SSSC said the registered support worker had stated to colleagues that a resident, known as AA, and who had been the subject of harmful behaviour, was “an idiot” who “deserves everything [he] got” – or words to that effect – and this was motivated by prejudice on the basis of a characteristic of AA.
In relation to comments about colleagues, she stated to another worker, XX, in an aggressive manner that “I could get 20 of my family around to their door and shank them” – or words to that effect.
She also referred specifically to one colleague, WW, as “ignorant” who she wanted to kick.
She also stated to XX “do not try to f***ing read me” – or words to that effect – and aggressively pointed her finger at XX, placing her “in a state of distress”.
The incidents were reported over a five-day period in October 2018 at the unnamed city care home for adults.
In their findings, the SSSC said: “Your fitness to practise is impaired because social service workers are under a duty to treat colleagues and service users with respect.
“By acting in an aggressive manner towards colleague XX, causing XX to be in a state of distress, and by speaking in a derogatory manner about service user AA, and saying AA deserved to be the subject of harmful behaviour, you behaved in a manner that fell below the standards of conduct expected of workers registered with the SSSC.”
They added: “You have not engaged with the SSSC’s investigation and have not provided the SSSC with any evidence of insight, regret and apology in relation to your behaviour.
“Your behaviour indicates that you struggle to effectively deal with ordinary workplace stressors and that you have difficulty in regulating your emotions.
“The SSSC cannot take any reasonable assurances that you have corrected the issues that led to your behaviour.
“As such, it is considered that you would repeat your behaviour should you encounter similar circumstances in the future.
“Such repetition would place further people at the risk of potential harm.”
It added: “The SSSC has a duty to uphold proper standards of conduct and behaviour from social service workers.
“SSSC registration provides members of the public with assurances that the SSSC is satisfied that you are fit to practise.
“A finding of impairment is necessary to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the register and the SSSC as a regulator.
“We decided that the appropriate sanction is to place a warning on your registration for a period of 24 months.”
If the worker commences any future role which requires SSSC registration she must provide evidence to them to confirm the employers were aware of the sanction.
She was also told that within three months of commencing registerable employment, she must undertake training and/or learning which is focused on equality and diversity, emotional regulation, and effective communication – and evidence of this must also be provided to the SSSC.
Ash declined to comment on the case at her home this week.