An Inverness support worker who abused her “position of power and trust” has been struck off by the social services watchdog.
Jeanette Cunningham’s behaviour was described as “physically abusive and aggressive” by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) following a hearing.
It was reported that Cunningham pushed a patient on to the toilet seat, causing them to hit their back against the cistern.
‘Stop being like this’
In another incident with the same patient, she kicked their feet in an attempt to move them into position on a stand aid and told them to “stop being like this, you know what to do”.
This happened on or around February 18, 2021 and also at this time Cunningham wiped the patient’s face harder than was necessary and roughly took hold of their arm, taking it out of their sleeve.
As well as this, she repeatedly shout at a service user to “sit up” at the table.
The location of all the incidents has been redacted by the SSSC.
‘Demeaning and dismissive’
Other incidents are reported to have taken place between March 14 and March 28, 2021, including grabbing a patient’s hands and pulling them off a stand-aid.
When asked by a colleague why she did this, Cunningham’s response was that “she needs to learn”, while on another occasion between the end of August 2020 and March 28 2021, a patient was told to “shut up” by her.
Cunningham’s behaviour towards four service users was “demeaning, dismissive and displayed very little regard for their emotional welfare”, the SSSC said.
The incidents took place between August 2020 and April 2021 and she has not worked in the sector since.
Placing vulnerable people at risk of harm
It was decided by the SSSC that Cunningham’s practise was “impaired”, saying that she has not shown any sort of insight, regret or remorse, with her conduct placing vulnerable service users at risk of harm.
A removal order was imposed to remove her registration from the body’s registers for support workers in housing support and care at home services.
The notice comes into effect today, June 1.