Care worker struck off for telling elderly patients they “stink of pish”


A CARE worker has been struck off after being found guilty of a slew of offences, including telling elderly patients they “stink of pish.”

Karen MacGregor also referred to deteriorating patients by saying she could “smell steak pie” – in a cruel reference to the dish commonly served at funerals.

MacGregor, a care worker in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, lost her job of six years at Belhaven Residential Home when the allegations came to light in 2013.

Now she has been removed from the register of care workers by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and told that her actions are “fundamentally incompatible with being a social service worker.”

MacGregor was found guilty of a number of other offences during her hearing earlier this month.

The SSSC struck Ms MacGregor from the register
The SSSC struck Ms MacGregor from the register


On one occasion she said to a colleague: “Go and get Betty.”

When the other worker asked who Betty was, MacGregor replied: “Does it matter? They are all called Betty. It’s not as if they know what you call them.”

It was also found proven that MacGregor referred to ill or dying patients as “steak pie” on a number of occasions, and said “get them to the toilet, they are stinking of pish” in front them.

She was also found guilty of removing patients from beds against their will and encouraging other workers to mislead families about the condition of their loved ones.

In summer of last year, the council found that MacGregor had told colleagues to tell concerned families that patients were “fine” or “fantastic.”

When one colleague said she would not lie to families about the state of their loved ones, MacGregor replied: “I’m not asking you to lie, I’m asking you to stretch the truth.”

The case was heard by the SSSC earlier this month, with the committee announcing its findings earlier this week.

Their findings declared that MacGregor “failed to respect and maintain the dignity and privacy of the service users”, adding that her “ use of abusive, derogatory and offensive language about service users in the presence of the service users was unacceptable.”

They concluded, ”Over a period of time the Registrant had behaved in a manner which suggested lack of empathy towards service users”, and removed the disgraced worker from the register.

A spokesperson for Third Life Care Ltd, the company which owns the home, said: “When the allegations came to light we notified the relevant authorities and she was dismissed after a detailed investigation.”