A SENIOR support worker has been placed on a three year warning after telling her colleagues not to feed a patient and refusing to let her leave her room as a "punishment".

Catherine Millar stopped the patient, known only as AA, from leaving her room all night by verbally directing her back when there was no reason to do so, she instructed her co-workers not to offer the woman supper at 9pm and told them: "I have great delight in sending AA to her bedroom".

She told the woman, who was a patient at Voyage Care's Beechmount home in Johnstone which supports those with learning disabilities and behavioural needs, the staff were "sick of working with" her and warned her to "sit down or you are going back upstairs".

The incidents occurred between April 14 and 15, last year.

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The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) said her behaviour showed her fitness to practise was impaired.

It said: "The behaviour is serious. You refused to allow a service user out of their bedroom and refused to allow AA food as a form of punishment.

"Furthermore, you made several derogatory comments towards AA and to your colleagues about AA.

"The behaviour demonstrates an attitudinal problem at odds with the expectation of a social services worker. AA was put at risk of emotional harm as a result of your behaviour."

It added: "There are public protection concerns due to the seriousness of the behaviour. Social service workers should protect and promote the rights and interests of people who use services

"It was abusive and put AA at risk of emotional harm. It demonstrated a misuse of power and your behaviour was likely to cause AA distress.

"Furthermore, your communication was verbally abusive and was likely to cause AA fear alarm and distress."

Millar, who has been a support worker since 2001, was placed on a three year warning and ordered to provide reflective accounts discussing inappropriate interventions and adult support and protection to the SSSC within three months, as well as an account detailing the impact of her actions and why she will not repeat her mistakes.

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She was also let go from her role within Beechmount care home.

Brian Flynn, managing director for Voyage Care in Scotland, said: “Voyage Care takes the responsibility of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society extremely seriously. For this reason, and in accordance with our statutory and legal responsibilities, as soon as we were made aware of the allegations at Beechmount, we were duty bound to immediately inform the Care Inspectorate and Scottish Social Services Council.

“We were appalled to discover this behaviour and apologise to all affected by this individual’s actions.

"Our team took swift and affirmative action, resulting in the individual being immediately suspended and subsequently dismissed and referred to Disclosure Scotland.

"The safety and wellbeing of the people we support is always our priority and ensuring we have the right teams in place is crucial to achieving this.”

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