A support worker who sprayed air freshener on a juice bottle – knowing an autistic service user could drink out of it – has been banned from the care industry.
The woman – who has not been named by the Scottish Social Services Council – told a colleague “she’ll not be drinking out of that again” after coating the bottle.
She later stated “she must have drunk out of that bottle as her face was like this” before screwing up her own face.
Removing the support worker from the care register last week, a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) panel ruled that she had “acted in an abusive and cruel manner” and “failed to treat the service user with respect”.
They added: “By failing to obtain medical advice following suspicions that [the service user] had ingested the air freshener you have placed [the service user] at a further risk of harm.
“Your behaviour demonstrates a lack of regard for [the service user’s] welfare.”
The carer was also reprimanded for sending the same woman back to her room when she asked for a drink on a number of different occasions, and using her mobile phone instead of attending to the service user’s needs.
She also said “I can’t be bothered with that wanting 24-hour attention all the time” in respect to another service user.
The incidents took place in April 2018 whilst she was working in Dunfermline, Fife.
The woman was also rapped for failing to transfer a resident properly whilst working at a care home in Dunfermline in March 2017.
Her actions led to a woman’s wheelchair tipping over, causing the resident to hit her head.
The SSSC stated: “Your conduct is serious and amounts to a breach of fundamental values of the profession.
“It constitutes a pattern of deliberate and abusive behaviour. Your behaviour was a persistent failure to provide an acceptable level of care to vulnerable service users.
“Your actions, on the whole, were deliberate with you either intending to cause harm or having no regard as to whether your actions would cause harm to the service users.”
In addition, she was also reported to the SSSC over a Facebook post in February 2018 in which she displayed “unprofessional views” towards individuals with a heroin addiction.
The SSSC panel stated: “Social service workers are expected not to behave, whether at work or outside of work, in a way which would bring their suitability to work in social services into question.
“You have posted discriminatory views towards individuals with heroin addiction in a public forum.
“Your behaviour shows disregard for the wellbeing of people with drug addictions and is incompatible with fundamental values of a caring profession.”
The support worker was said to have shown limited insight into the majority of her behaviour and had not acknowledged any wrongdoing.
The SSSC concluded that with no evidence of remediation, the “risk of repetition is high”.
The panel added: “The SSSC considers that a removal order is the most appropriate sanction as it is both necessary and justified in the public interest and to maintain the continuing trust and confidence in the social service profession and the SSSC as the regulator of the profession.”