Pensioner held down and forced to have haircut

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A CARE worker who forced a wheelchair-bound pensioner to have a haircut by holding down her arms and ignoring her cries to stop has been suspended for two years.

Morag Pacey, from Bathgate, was banned from working in the care industry following a catalogue of misconduct which included “intimidation” of an elderly resident and forbidding another from watching a film because she would “ruin it” for others.

It was also alleged she ordered a junior staff member to remove a urinary catheter from a resident despite having no training to do so.

A record of malpractice shows Ms Pacey breached the care code on 11 occasions in just six weeks throughout the summer of 2011.

But the most shocking allegation reveals the senior care worker – formerly an assistant manager of the council-run centre – restrained a “distressed” resident “by holding her hands down” or stretching her hands across the chair of a hairdressers.

Ms Pacey, who retired in December 2012, denies the charges despite failing to challenge them at the tribunal.

The incident, recorded on August 15, 2011, also suggests Ms Pacey then ignored the resident’s pleas and continued to restrain her until the haircut was completed.

Nine days later, the care worker confronted another resident and shouted “what’s your problem?” before mocking her with the words “Mrs Independent”.

Hearing the evidence, care watchdog Scottish Social Services Council moved for a two-year suspension branding Ms Pacey’s actions tantamount to “serious misconduct” that “called into question her attitude and suitability as a social service worker”.

A report into the wrong-doing said: “The sub-committee was satisfied that a suspension order for a period of two years was a proportionate response to the misconduct found, having regard to the public interest in maintaining confidence in social services.”

She also faced charges of administering the wrong prescription dosage to a resident against the recommendations of a GP; sharing her nicotine inhaler with a resident and behaving in an “inappropriate manner towards her colleagues”.

When the News approached her at home, Ms Pacey claimed it was “all a set-up” and she had no intention of working in the care industry again.

She said: “People know I would never harm anyone and that I always had my patients’ interests at heart. I look after so many local people.

“All my neighbours know me, they have all called on me in the middle of the night when they could not get a doctor.

“This whole thing has made me so ill. I have lost four stone in weight all through this.”

A spokesman for West Lothian Council, which runs the care home, said: “We take the safety and security of people in our care extremely seriously. It is not appropriate to discuss matters relating to individual former employees.”

Ms Pacey worked at the home between 2004 and 2012.