By Sam Whyte
A FORMER care home manager who worked with vulnerable patients could be struck off after he allegedly exposed himself to a fellow member of staff and was drunk whilst on duty.
Thomas Shields, who worked at the Real Life Options Care Home in Pumpherston Road, Livingston, is said to have shown a female colleague his nipple before removing his clothes and making inappropriate sexual remarks between 23 and 24 November last year.
He is also accused of consuming alcohol in the care home and leaving a female colleague “in a state of fear and alarm”.
It is also alleged that Mr Shields, who was responsible for the care of adults with learning difficulties, drank alcohol at a caravan park in Berwick-upon-Tweed while accompanying two residents of the care home in the summer of 2007.
In this incident it is also claimed that he acted negligently by failing to ensure the safety and well-being of the two service users of Real Life – a company that acts as a not-for-profit organisation.
Although he is scheduled to appear before a Scottish Social Services Council conduct sub-committee hearing tomorrow (Wednesday) Tony Pearson, human resources director at Real Life, said Mr Shields had already been sacked following an internal investigation.
If the SSSC panel find the allegations to be proven against the former manager, who has no obligation to attend the hearing, then he faces being in breach of ten separate parts of the code of practice.
He could then have his registration with them revoked for three years with no guarantee of getting back on after the ban expires.
Mr Pearson said: “When we were made aware of the allegations he was immediately suspended. We conducted a full investigation and he was dismissed on January 13.
“We took action following what happened on November 23 and 24. It was reported pretty much immediately. We took the allegations incredibly seriously.
“We have robust disciplinary and investigation procedures in place and they were followed.”
Although Mr Shields has worked at the care the Livingston care home since 2007, Real Life only took over the business last September.