Carer 'grabbed, pushed and put hand over elderly patient's mouth'

Fiona Sewell was convicted of assaulting the resident at Dumfries Sheriff Court on July 8, 2022.

Lockerbie carer who ‘grabbed, pushed and put hand over elderly patient’s mouth’ struck off iStock

A Dumfries and Galloway carer has been struck off after she “grabbed”, “pushed”, and held her hand over the mouth of a vulnerable elderly patient in her care.

Fiona Sewell was convicted of assaulting the resident at Dumfries Sheriff Court on July 8, 2022.

While employed as a senior carer at a Lockerbie care home for adults on June 14, 2021, she was found to have grabbed the resident by his body, placed her hand over his mouth, and pushed and dragged him onto a bed.

A hearing of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) found her physically abusive behaviour to be “fundamentally incompatible with ongoing professional registration”.

Additionally, on the same day, Sewell also shouted at another resident to “shut up”, and asked her colleagues not to report her actions.

She was convicted after the colleagues reported her physically and verbally abusive behaviour towards residents anyway.

The SSSC said that her conviction of assaulting a vulnerable resident was “highly serious”, adding that social workers must not abuse or neglect service users.

It said: “Responding to challenging behaviour in this way raises serious concerns about your underlying values and violates the fundamental tenants of the profession.”

Further, it found that she had shown a lack of respect for residents as well as a failure to treat them as individuals, by shouting at one to “shut up”.

The SSSC said: “Registered workers must treat each person as an individual. They must respect, and where appropriate, promote the views and wishes of people who use services and carers.

“They must communicate in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way. You have verbally abused a resident in your care by shouting at [them] to ‘shut up’.

“Your behaviour shows a lack of respect for [the resident] and a failure to treat [them] as an individual. Your behaviour falls below the standards expected of social care workers.”

The watchdog stated that her attempts to conceal her actions was completely incompatible with the standards expected to a social worker.

As a result of her actions, the SSSC decided to remove Sewell’s registration effective April 1.