Elderly resident ate soap and had allergic reaction after carer made colleague turn off motion alarm

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A SCOTS carer has been struck off after telling a new colleague to turn off a resident’s motion monitor – shortly before the woman ate soap and had an allergic reaction.The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) removed Jane Wallace from the register last week following the incident in December 2020.While employed as a care assistant by Kingdom Homes at Methven House in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Wallace told an inexperienced colleague to turn off the alarm-equipped floor mat of an elderly resident.While asking the colleague to do so, Wallace said it was because she was “not f***ing listening to that all night”.

SSSC strike off Jane Wallace
Wallace ordered a colleague to turn off the motion monitor – before the resident had an allergic reaction.

The elderly resident then got out of bed in the middle of the night and ate soap, causing an allergic reaction.Wallace tried to get her colleague to cover for her and support her suggestion that the resident could have walked around the mat.She was also accused of exhibiting bullying behaviour towards a male resident who she told to “get back to his f***ing bed”.Wallace then hit the man on the back of the head when he lashed out in response to her behaviour, causing him to stumble.The SSSC report stated: “Social service workers have a duty to meet relevant standards of practice and work in a safe and effective way.“They must also ensure that service users are protected, insofar as possible, from harm.“You [Wallace] told a new member of staff to turn off a resident’s floor call mat because you didn’t want to hear it going off all night.“As instructed, the new member of staff turned the mat off, resulting in the resident in question managing to access and eat soap without members of staff being alerted that she had got out of bed.“As a result of your actions, the resident suffered physical harm in the form of an allergic reaction and would also likely have suffered distress.

Methven House in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
Jane Wallace was employed at Methven House in Kirkcaldy.                                       (C) Google Maps

“Your actions also could have had implications for your colleague, who was very new to the job, in the event she was faced with disciplinary action for something you told her to do.“You advised the same colleague to tell other members of staff that the resident had managed to walk around the floor mat, so as to conceal your wrongdoing.“Such behaviour is dishonest and is fundamentally incompatible with professional registration.”Referring to the treatment of a male resident at the care home, the SSSC continued: “You have shouted, sworn and been verbally abusive towards a vulnerable resident in your care and slapped that same resident across the back of his head, causing him to lose his balance and stumble.“You have also attempted to conceal your wrongdoing by telling your junior colleague that you should keep the incident between yourselves and failed to report the incident to the nurse in charge, which is dishonest.”Wallace was issued with a removal order following her “complete lack of respect towards” residents.On making their decision, the SSSC concluded: “The SSSC considers a removal order is the most appropriate sanction as it is both necessary and justified in the public interest and to maintain the continuing trust and confidence in the social service profession and the SSSC as the regulator of the profession.“The behaviour took place at work, while you were mentoring a new member of staff.“You put your new colleague at risk of being disciplined for following your instruction in unplugging resident AA’s floor mat.“You would have known the resident would be put at risk of harm if the floor mat was unplugged but told your colleague to do it anyway.“You failed to report to the nurse in charge that resident BB had been unsettled and aggressive during the night, likely because you were unwilling to disclose the details of why this was.“Your behaviour was deliberate, which is concerning given that you would have been fully aware that such behaviour was completely unacceptable.”