A support worker has been struck off the care register for taking money from a service user’s wallet and rifling through their bedroom drawer for more cash.
Martin Archibald’s actions were branded an “abuse of trust” by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).
Archibald struck during June 2019 while employed as a home carer in Inverurie by Aberdeenshire Council.
As well as ‘misappropriating’ a total of £40 from the service user’s wallet, he also looked through their bedroom drawer.
Finding Archibald’s fitness to practise impaired, the SSSC stated: “You misappropriated cash from a service user on two occasions, and on another occasion, entered his bedroom and looked through his wallet and his drawers, with the intention of again misappropriating money from him.
“Your actions constituted financial abuse of the service user, causing him financial damage and raising a risk of emotional harm.
“They were dishonest, fundamentally incompatible with professional registration and an abuse of the trust of the service user, his family and your employer.”
The watchdog branded the behaviour “deliberate and pre-meditated”, adding that it exploited the vulnerabilities of a person receiving services, and was therefore an “abuse of trust”.
The SSSC added: “The behaviour is very serious. It breached fundamental tenets of the profession. It relates to your values and is therefore difficult to remediate.
“There is a pattern of behaviour, although only over a few days. The SSSC has no assurance that the behaviour would not recur in the future.
“There is a clear and ongoing public protection risk.
“Public confidence in the profession and the workforce would be jeopardised by the conclusion that your fitness to practise is not impaired.”
In conclusion, the watchdog said a removal order was the “most appropriate sanction” to maintain the “continuing trust and confidence in the social service profession and the SSSC as the regulator of the profession”.
The removal order came into effect on November 4.