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NewsScots carer pulled duvet tightly over vulnerable woman's throat while asking, "did...

Scots carer pulled duvet tightly over vulnerable woman’s throat while asking, “did you tell anyone about me?”

A SCOTS carer has been struck off after pulling a duvet tightly over a vulnerable woman’s throat while asking, “did you tell anyone about me?”

Natasha Runcie was employed as a night shift care assistant at Meigle Country House in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, when the incident took place in June 2021.

The care worker was found to have taken the woman into a communal dining area against her wishes while she had no clothing on the lower part of her body.

Natasha Runcie
Natasha Runcie was struck off by the SSSC. Credit: Facebook

The woman was just wearing an incontinence pad and blanket at the time and had no socks or shoes on – despite complaining that her feet were cold.

After lodging a complaint about Runcie, the woman was left frightened when the carer from Dundee visited her room and tucked her into bed in an intimidating manner.

Runcie was found to have used both hands to pull the duvet tightly over Runcie’s chest and throat area while asking if she had told people about her.

The scared woman replied “no”, thinking that she was about to be choked, to which Runcie pulled the duvet even tighter across the same areas and asked, “are you sure?”.

Meigle Country House
Natasha worked here at Meigle Country House.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) launched an investigation into Runcie’s behaviour and decided to issue her with a removal order yesterday.

Referring to the resident as AA, the SSSC said: “Social service workers must respect and maintain the wishes and dignity of people who use services.

“You took resident AA into the dining room against her wishes and while she was inappropriately dressed.

“You also failed to get socks and shoes for AA after she told you her feet were cold.

“Your behaviour amounts to a failure to respect AA’s wishes and to maintain her dignity.

“Upon hearing that AA had made a verbal complaint about you, and while tucking AA into bed, you held the top corners of AA’s duvet, pulled them tightly over AA’s chest and throat area and confronted AA about the complaint made about you.

“This behaviour was abusive and placed AA at a high risk of both physical and emotional harm as she was frightened by your behaviour.

“You acted in a threatening manner towards AA, causing AA significant distress.

“It is noted that several days after the event, AA was still unsettled and requested that the doors and windows be locked.

“She expressed that she thought you were going to choke her.”

On making their decision, they said: “You have demonstrated no insight and admitted no wrongdoing.

“You have acted in bad faith by attempting to make a service user retract a complaint by threatening her. This also amounts to an abuse of a position of trust.

“Your behaviour caused emotional harm to a service user [and] your behaviour took place in the workplace, when you were responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people.

“A removal order is the most appropriate sanction.

“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.”

Runcie had been employed by Priority Care Group Limited, who run Meigle Country House, for almost three years when the incident took place last year.

She denied acting in the manner detailed in the allegations and was found to have shown no remorse.

Speaking today, a director for Priority Care Group Limited said: “The care, safety and comfort of our residents and colleagues is of paramount importance to us.

“Ms Runcie was employed by our company at the time, however her employment ceased shortly afterwards.

“We have fully assisted the SSSC’s enquiries into the allegations, providing all information requested from our own internal disciplinary investigation for their hearing.”

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