Care worker struck off for leaving vulnerable couple in soiled bed

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A CARE worker has been struck off after leaving a vulnerable woman and her partner in a soiled bed overnight.

Claire O’Brien accompanied a dependent couple as they enjoyed an overnight stay at a hotel in Edinburgh last year.

She was instructed to remain in contact with the woman in case she needed help.

But Ms O’Brien, who is believed to be from the Bridge of Weir in Renfrewshire, failed to do so and the couple were left in a soiled bed until the next morning.

Ms O’Brien responded by claiming she was on a “sleepover” and not a nightshift and used threats to try to stop the incident being reported.

The hearing took place at the SSSC
The hearing took place at the SSSC

 

At a hearing held in Dundee earlier this month, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) found all 13 charges against her proven and dismissed her from the register.

The care worker had been asked to accompany the vulnerable couple whilst they were on a short holiday in Edinburgh in May 2014.

Their care plan outlined that she should provide them with a responder system which would notify her if they called for assistance throughout the night.

However, she failed to do so and the woman, referred to in the hearing documents as AA, was doubly incontinent.

Despite shouting out for help, it was not until Ms O’Brien arrived the next morning that they were discovered.

At the hearing it was found proven that when asked by AA why assistance was not provided, Ms O’Brien replied that she was “on a sleepover and not a nightshift and should not be disturbed”.

Even more alarmingly, she went on to threaten AA that she would “not be able to marry her partner BB” and would “not be allowed to go on holiday again” if she reported the incident.

The SSSC panel ruled that Ms O’Brien “placed service users at risk of harm” and “compromised AA’s dignity and privacy” by not leaving them with an appropriate responder system.

They said that she “placed her own interests above those of the service user she was supposed to be caring for” and “failed to respect her rights as an individual”.

The panel also added that it was “extremely troubling” for them to hear that she had tried to put pressure on the service user not to disclose the events.

It was decided that a striking off order was the most appropriate sanction, and Ms O’Brien was removed from the register.

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