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Inverness care home worker struck off after swearing at resident and using ‘unnecessary force’

A care assistant has been struck off the register of care home workers after "extremely serious" physical and verbal abuse at Kingsmills Care Home in Inverness.
A care assistant has been struck off the register of care home workers after "extremely serious" physical and verbal abuse at Kingsmills Care Home in Inverness.

A care home worker who subjected residents to physical and verbal abuse has been struck off the social services register.

Care assistant Tracey Grundy used “unnecessary force” to remove a continence aid from a resident, as well as pinning the resident down by the arms.

She was also found to have pulled another resident from a chair in an inappropriate manner.

She was further deemed to have used foul and abusive language towards both residents.

The “extremely serious” incidents took place at Kingsmills Care Home in Inverness in April 2019.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) took the decision after ruling that her fitness to practice had been impaired by her actions.

Ms Grundy acknowledged her wrongdoing with her employer, and having been advised of the SSSCs findings, accepted the order removing her from the register of care home support workers.

A report published after an investigation into events stated: “Social service workers must not abuse, neglect or harm people who use services or put themselves or other people at unnecessary risk of harm.

“You used unnecessary force to remove a continence aid from a resident and you also pinned that resident’s arms.

“This is behaviour which amounts to physical abuse and caused the resident involved emotional harm.

“The behaviour is serious and violates fundamental tenets of the profession, in that you failed to protect the welfare and dignity of service users and to protect them from harm.

“Although there is no information of actual physical harm caused to the resident the risk of harm was acute, and the behaviour caused the resident distress.

“Physically abusive behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with registration.

“There is also a need to protect service users from the risk of harm associated with such behaviour.”

It added: “Social service workers are expected to communicate in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way.

“You have spoken to residents in an aggressive manner, using inappropriate language on multiple occasions, which amounts to verbal abuse.”

It further called Ms Grundy’s behaviour “serious and deliberate”, and said her actions “call into question your ability to act in a professional manner and your understanding of promoting the safety and wellbeing of service users”.

The document stated: “The public has the right to expect that social service workers, in whom it places its trust and confidence, will treat service users with dignity and respect at all times.”

The report acknowledged that no findings had previously been made against Ms Grundy, and that she had not attempted to conceal her actions.

However, it concluded that a warning or suspension would not reflect the seriousness of her actions, and said that her behaviour suggested “underlying attitudinal or values issues”.

It added: “These service users were vulnerable and you caused them harm by your failure to conduct yourself properly in the level of care you provided, which constitutes an abuse of the trust placed in you.”

A spokeswoman for Four Seasons Health Care, which owned Kingsmills Care Home during the time of the incidents, said: “We are aware of the proceedings involving a former employee of Kingsmills Care Home, which is no longer operated by Four Seasons Health Care.

“At the time of the allegations, we immediately suspended the employee while an investigation was carried out.

“She was then dismissed and the matter reported to the Scottish Social Services Council, which we have provided with our full support throughout this process.

“The care and wellbeing of our residents remains our first priority and we will always act to uphold our high standards of care.”