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NewsScots carer struck off after sharing "shocking and upsetting" meme

Scots carer struck off after sharing “shocking and upsetting” meme

A SCOTS carer has been struck off for sharing a “shocking and upsetting” meme on Facebook.

Shona Alcorn, who worked in Dundee, was found to have shared a meme on the social media platform which a member of the public saw and raised with her employer. 

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) held multiple hearings on Wednesday 8th, Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th of September.

The SSSC have removed Shona Alcorn from the register.
The SSSC have removed Shona Alcorn from the register.

The Council found that on an unknown date in or around May 2020, Shona had shared a meme on Facebook with the caption: “I’m f****ng sorry in advance.”

The SSSC redacted all information about the image itself from their report and has refused to reveal any more details at the end of the case.

When confronted by a colleague, Shona had claimed that the post was “just banter” but accepted it “might not be everyone’s sense of humour.”. 

The SSSC yesterday released documents detailing that the support worker was to be removed from the register, effective from within her appeal period .

In their report, they said: “Your colleague said she was of the view that you had breached the Code of the SSSC.

“She considered that colleagues, relatives of service users and members of the public would consider your post shocking and upsetting, and it would undermine confidence in the profession.

“The presenter submitted that by adding the comment “I’m fuckin’ sorry in advance” this indicated that you were aware that the posting of such an image was gravely offensive but chose do so anyway for your own amusement and gratification.

“He noted you described your actions as banter, indicating you considered that they fell within the spectrum of acceptable humour, albeit perhaps on the fringes, rather than acknowledging what it is – grossly offensive and discriminatory. 

“The behaviour falls far short of what is expected of social service workers in a position of trust.”

The SSSC gave reasons for their decisions, citing the fact that such misconduct was seen and identified by a member of the public.

“The panel considered that you posted highly offensive content on Facebook, the content of which caused distress to a member of the public, who also identified you.

“This caused them to contact the service to report the issue, appalled at an action from someone working in social services. 

“The panel considered that relatives of service users in your care would be highly upset and concerned for their own relatives on becoming aware of the post.

“The panel considered that you have shown little if any insight, regret or remorse. Rather, the panel considered that you have deliberately sought to minimise the seriousness of your actions. 

A photo of the SSSC offices in Dundee.
The Scottish Social Services Council’s offices in Riverside Drive, Dundee.                                                    (C) Google Maps

In the final pages of the report, the SSSC concluded that a removal from the register was the only decision appropriate for an offence such as this.

“You have sought to downplay the seriousness of your actions and failed to express any regret or remorse about the effect that your misconduct might have on services users, their families, colleagues, members of the public and public confidence in the profession. 

“You have not demonstrated any insight into the seriousness of your actions and their consequences. 

“There was a serious departure from the relevant professional standards set out in the Code and you have failed to demonstrate any remediation.

“The Panel agreed that removal was an appropriate and proportionate outcome and it therefore decided to impose a Removal Order, removing your name from the Register.”

When contacted for comment regarding the content of the meme, the SSSC were unwilling to offer any context.

A spokeswoman said today: “We’re unable to offer any more information than that which is supplied in the report online.

“The information in that report in relation to the meme was redacted at the time due to its offensive nature, and as such, it would not be in our interest to divulge it now.”

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