Care home worker sacked for swearing at patient

The Erskine Edinburgh Care Home in Gilmerton. Picture: contributed
The Erskine Edinburgh Care Home in Gilmerton. Picture: contributed
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A CARE home worker been struck off for swearing at an incontinent elderly patient.

Julie Hay was removed from her post after bosses at Erskine Edinburgh Care Home launched an investigation into reports the care assistant had raised her voice and shouted foul language at a patient suffering with early onset dementia.

Ms Hay, who had been qualified as a care worker for less than a year, admitted that she “lost it” in May last year when the patient accidently urinated on her while she was delivering care at a unit dubbed Craiglockhart House.

She had an unblemished record as a care assistant and a report into the affair suggested it was an “isolated incident”.

Erskine Edinburgh Care Home was opened at Gilmerton in 2002 and provides support to military veterans.

A report by the Scottish Social Services Council said the patient – “normally an outgoing person” – had become withdrawn following the outburst and been “upset by it”.

Ms Hay initially denied shouting “f***” at the veteran and failed to attend the hearing or provide an official statement to the tribunal. But one colleague who was working in an adjoining room recognised her voice and later the affected patient told several care workers about the incident.

The misconduct hearing found Ms Hay had verbally abused the military veteran and had “demonstrated no insight or regret or co-operation with the council”.

Dr Jean Turner, a former GP and the executive director of Scotland Patient Association, said: “This will have been a humiliating experience for this elderly gentleman and they were right to sack her.”

Councillor Ricky Henderson, convener of health, social care and housing at Edinburgh City Council, said it was vital professional standards were maintained in an often “difficult job”.

He said: “Working with vulnerable people is a very important profession and a very difficult job to do. It is important that we have good people there to do the job to the highest possible standards and that people get the protection they need.”