North Berwick care worker ‘put patients at risk’

The worker is accused of using a resident's nightgown to wedge open a window at a North Berwick care home. Stock image: Esme Allen
The worker is accused of using a resident's nightgown to wedge open a window at a North Berwick care home. Stock image: Esme Allen
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A CARE worker from East Lothian who allegedly used one of his patient’s nightdresses to hold her window open, leaving her to sleep in her vest, is to face a misconduct hearing.

Michael Grunert, who was employed as a care assistant at a care home in North Berwick between May and October last year, will face a list of 15 charges when he appears in front of the Scottish Social Services Council conduct sub-committee in Dundee next week.

It is claimed that between September 22 and October 3, 2014, Grunert used his patient’s nightdress to “hold her window open” and left her to sleep in her vest.

In doing so, he allegedly caused the woman to “become distressed and placed her at risk of harm”.

According to a report by the conduct sub-committee, it is also alleged that on July 17, 2014, while moving a patient in bed, he failed “to apply the bed brakes and thereafter rolled the service user in an abrupt manner towards his colleague, causing the bed to shake”.

The care worker also faces a string of charges over incidents that are said to have taken place on August 31, 2014, while he was employed in East Lothian.

On that date, it is alleged that while carrying out personal care for a patient, he failed to ensure they were properly dry before dressing them and applying cream to their skin.

It is also alleged that he attempted to carry a full urine bag to a sluice when it was not in a red basin, and also failed to ensure that the space around patients was cleared of obstructions.

He then allegedly failed to assist his colleagues in carrying out the oral care of patients and also repeatedly kicked their drawers closed.

Afterwards, when his practice was questioned by other members of staff, Grunert is accused of behaving in an “argumentative and challenging” manner.

In a further incident, on September 23, 2014, it is alleged that while tidying a bedroom, he left a red bag on the floor and then carried urine to the sluice when he was not wearing gloves. In doing so, he allegedly failed to comply with his employer’s health and safety procedures and placed patients, colleagues and other visitors at the risk of harm.

The care worker is expected to attend a public misconduct hearing next week, where it will be decided if he has breached the Scottish Social Services Council code of practice for social service workers.

Grunert could not be reached for comment.

courtney.cameron@edinburghnews.com