A SCOTS carer has been given a warning after he was caught shaving a female service user’s pubic hair when he was told not to.
Brian Gilmour was handed a two year warning on his registration by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) yesterday following the incident in January last year.
He was working as a housing support worker at Turning Point Scotland in Dumfries when he decided to carry out personal care on the woman.
The organisation supports adults who have learning disability, autism or have acquired a brain injury.
Mr Gilmour was found to have shaved or trimmed the woman’s pubic hair – despite her guardian requesting that she was not to receive this type of care five years ago.
He told his employer that he tidied up the area to make her comfortable, maintain hygiene standards and to avoid infection.
The SSSC launched an investigation into Mr Gilmour’s actions and yesterday decided that the appropriate action would be a two year warning on his record.
They said: “You provided personal care to a female service user in the knowledge that there had been a policy change meaning that only female staff were to provide personal care to female service users.
“You provided this personal care to [the service user] while a female member of staff was present.
“You also shaved or trimmed the pubic hair of the service user when you should not have been providing any personal care to [the service user] and when she no longer received that type of personal care from any staff member.
“This type of personal care had been stopped around five years prior to your actions at the request of her guardian. You were aware or ought to have been aware of this.
“While it is accepted that you had previously been providing personal care to that service user for a number of years prior to the incident without issue.
“The policy was new to you, you were aware of the policy and you were aware that you should not have been providing personal care to the service user.
“It is also accepted that you felt that your female colleague was struggling to provide personal care to the service user.
“Your intention when you took over that care was not to cause harm to [the service user] but rather to make her comfortable, maintain hygiene standards and to avoid infection.
“However, there were other options available to you, including contacting on-call for advice or assisting your colleague to bathe the service user.
“You have accepted that there were other courses of action that you could have taken and indicated that you regret having not done so.”
On making their decision panel added: “You demonstrated insight, regret and apology during your employer’s investigation.
“You have clearly demonstrated that you are aware that your actions were not appropriate.
“While you did not record what you had done in the service user’s notes, you did immediately take responsibility for your actions at the earliest opportunity after being asked by your manager.
“Your behaviour was isolated and did not form a pattern of behaviour and therefore the risk of repetition is low.
“While there was no known distress caused, your behaviour placed [the service user] and their guardian at a risk of emotional harm.
“We are therefore permitted by the rules to impose this warning on your registration.”
He admitted the incident to his bosses but refused to take part in the SSSC investigation.
Speaking today Director of Operations at Turning Point Scotland, Patrick McKay said: ‘‘We can confirm relevant authorities were notified and a former employee was dismissed regarding this incident.
“We would like to reassure people using our services, this will not affect the level of care provided and the safety of people we support is paramount.
“It would be inappropriate to comment further in respect to the privacy of the person we support.’’