Carer at coronavirus-hit home fired for failing to self-isolate

The agency worker was reported to police following concerns that he was not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Carer at coronavirus-hit home fired for failing to self-isolate

A carer who worked at a home that has been hit by six suspected coronavirus deaths was sacked for failing to self-isolate.

The agency worker was reported to police following concerns that he was not adhering to social distancing guidelines and continuing to work at Kingswells Care Home in Aberdeen despite a family member displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

Under government guidelines, he should have remained at home to self-isolate for at least 14 days.

After police informed the home, Aberdeen Nursing Agency, which was responsible for hiring the carer, said he was dismissed “immediately” after the breach was discovered on April 4.

The agency also stated the worker has not contracted the virus.

A spokesperson said: “Aberdeen Nursing Agency can confirm a carer, employed by us, continued to work whilst knowing that his immediate family were in self-isolation, with Covid-19 symptoms. 

“The carer did not report their situation, to either Aberdeen Nursing Agency or the care home.

“On the day in question, the carer was placed at Kingswells Care Home, and was immediately removed as soon as we became aware of the situation.   

“As this individual did not follow the clear government guidelines, in regard to social distancing and self-isolation, they were immediately dismissed. 

“I can confirm that while this individual should have been following the government guidelines, they have not contracted Covid-19 to date. 

“This has been a huge disappointment to Aberdeen Nursing Agency and we feel that this does not fairly represent the hundreds of care staff on the frontline who are continuing to deliver care to the most vulnerable in our society, whilst putting themselves at risk but obeying the clear government guidelines regarding social distancing and self-isolation.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “On Saturday, April 4, police received a report of a care home worker in the Aberdeen area allegedly not adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

“This information was passed to the relevant employer for their assessment and consideration.”

Bon Accord Care runs the home on behalf of Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP).

Sandra MacLeod, ACHSCP chief officer, said: “Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership expects all providers to strictly comply with regulatory and professional policy and process for all staff working within care homes and community settings. 

“All staff – whether employed directly by us, our partner organisations or through an agency – must adhere to all Government guidelines around Covid-19. 

“We will take any and all appropriate action where necessary to ensure compliance.”

The Scottish Social Services Council, the care register regulator, confirmed it had been notified of the situation.

On Tuesday, STV News reported that six residents at the home had died with suspected Covid-19.

The Care Inspectorate said it was aware of the deaths and its thoughts were with the “loved ones of those affected as well as the staff and wider community of the home”.

A spokesperson for the watchdog added: “All of Scotland’s social care sector is working tirelessly under very difficult circumstances to care for people during the pandemic and the Care Inspectorate is doing all it can to support them.”

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