Care chief ‘cheated charity of thousands’

Rhona McNeill's cab claims are under spotlight
Rhona McNeill's cab claims are under spotlight
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A CARE manager has been accused of charging a charity for personal taxi journeys costing thousands of pounds.

Rhona McNeill – who was working for home care agency Carr Gomm when she allegedly carried out a string of frauds and tried to cover them up – is set to go before a misconduct hearing.

She could be struck off the social services register when the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) meets in Dundee later this month to decide her fate.

Ms McNeill was reported to the SSSC after colleagues uncovered evidence and reported her to the professional watchdog.

She is accused of taking 94 taxi journeys for her own use on the charity’s cab account without her employer’s authorisation between April 2012 and March last year. The bill amounted to a total of £2871.40.

The service manager, of East Whitburn, West Lothian, is also accused of authorising the payment of eight taxi invoices in excess of £2500 in an “attempt to conceal her personal taxi use”, according to charges in SSSC documents.

The charges also allege Ms McNeill submitted “incorrect” mileage expense forms between April 2012 and January 21 last year on at least 13 occasions. In most cases she is accused of claiming around twice the mileage she was entitled to.

A mileage invoice from December 17, 2012, for example, showed a claim of 66 miles between locations in East Lothian, Edinburgh and Midlothian when the approximate distance would have been 32 miles. The charges claim Ms McNeill made 63 mileage claims for distances less than the ordinary 40-mile commute between her East Whitburn home and her workplace in Haddington between May 1, 2012 and February 27 last year.

The claims would have breached Care Gomm’s expenses policy. Another seven charges of breaching mileage policy are included.

Carr Gomm is a non-profit charity providing supported living to people with disabilities and mental health issues.

A spokeswoman for Carr Gorm said the charity could not disclose whether Ms McNeill remained an employee.

She said: “We cannot comment on the case. This is a private matter.”

Ms McNeill is on the register for managers in housing support services and managers of care at home services.

An SSSC spokeswoman said: “The conduct sub-committee hearing is scheduled to take place between July 22 and 25 in Dundee.

“The SSSC has a range of sanctions that can be imposed should misconduct be found. These range from a warning, imposing conditions on a worker, imposing both a warning and conditions, applying a suspension order or a suspension order with conditions, or removal from the register.”

Ms McNeill could not be reached for comment.