Year-long ban for care home boss after racist comments about staff

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is facing around 40 charges

A CARE home boss has been suspended from the nursing profession after remarking while looking at job applications: “I’ll make sure that f***ing Indian doesn’t get that job.”

Mary Marion Mills, former head of care at Rowantree and Rodgerpark care home, Glasgow, also called a colleague a “black b******”.

A total of seven charges against the nurse were found proved at a hearing in London of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

hearing in London earlier this month seven charges against her were found proved, including that she called a colleague a “black b******”.

Mrs Mills, who resigned from the BUPA care home after an internal investigation into her conduct began, later admitted she was “appalled and humiliated” by her behaviour.

She has been banned from nursing for a year, and BUPA told her she would have been sacked had she not resigned.

Rowantree and Rodgerpark Care Home, in Rutherglen, cares for 240 elderly residents, many of whom suffer from dementia.

 

Job

The charges relate to the period between 2006 and 2010 when Mrs Mills was deputy manager and head of care at the home.

One colleague, who was not named, told the NMC panel that Mrs Mills had been reading job applications, one from a woman of “Asian origin” and the other from a Scot.

The witness said: “I can clearly recall that…Mary said, whilst leafing through the application forms that had been submitted…, ‘I’ll make sure that f****** Indian doesn’t get that job’.”

The job had been advertised and both applicants were staff members at the home.

Another colleague told the panel she heard Mrs Mills “made a racist comment about a member of staff”.

She said: “I remember the nurse walking away from Mary and I and as soon as the nurse was at a distance Mary said ‘black bastard’.”

A third staff member said she heard Mrs Mills say, in relation to another staff member, “for goodness sake she is nothing but another lazy black bastard.”

Mrs Mills was also found to have shouted at colleagues, and muttered “black b******” under her breath after a colleague called in sick.

 

Stress

The NMC panel saw a letter from Mrs Mills, in which she said: “I can only say that I am appalled, shamed and utterly humiliated by my behaviour and in all honesty deserve what you deem to punish me with.”

The letter added she “was not aware that my behaviour was such that people saw me as a bully” and said she was under “tremendous stress” from senior managers.

After an anonymous complaint was made to care home watchdogs, BUPA launched an investigation into Mrs Mills in November 2010.

Later that month she said the investigation was causing her “stress”, and on 18 November she “walked off shift and did not return to the Home,” the NMC panel said.

She later resigned from her position, but after a disciplinary hearing was held BUPA said her contact would have been terminated for gross misconduct.

The NMC panel, chaired by James Daniell, said Mrs Mills had brought the profession into disrepute.

Announcing the panel’s decision to suspend her from nursing for a year, he said: “these charges taken together demonstrate a pattern of behaviour, displaying a tendency to intimidate colleagues.

“The panel was of the view that racist comments in a workplace environment are wholly unacceptable.”

 

Ethnicity

Ironically, Mrs Mills had herself nominated other members of staff for the quality of their care.

In 2009 she put forward one of her staff, Elizabeth McKeegan, for a prestigious Scottish Care Award.

After Ms McKeegan won the award, Mrs Mills told a newspaper: “I am delighted that Elizabeth is a winner.

“She always goes above and beyond the call of duty.  It’s only right that her efforts were recognised.”

The head of BUPA’s Scottish division insisted the company was committed to equal opportunities.

Kenny Valentine, director of BUPA Scotland said: “We do not tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviours or attitudes in our homes and as such dismissed and referred Mary Marion Mills to the NMC more than two years ago.

“We are committed to equal opportunity and our person-centred care approach demands that everyone is respected as an individual and treated with dignity regardless of   gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age.”

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