Carer photographed vulnerable man with faeces on face

Linda Locke showed the image to a colleague after taking it on her phone.

Watchdog: Scottish Social Services Council findings released (file pic).
Watchdog: Scottish Social Services Council findings released (file pic). Google 2017

A care worker who photographed a vulnerable service user who had faeces on his face after being ill has been censured.

Linda Locke was disciplined after it was found she showed her colleague the image of the man on her mobile phone.

The Scottish Social Services Council said Ms Locke showed them the photo in front of the service user before stating: "Look, what I had to deal with this morning."

In findings released by the care watchdog, the housing support employee was deemed to have "failed to respect and maintain the dignity and privacy of a service user, placed [the man] at risk of emotional harm and failed to communicate in an appropriate way."

Ms Locke worked for the Mungo Foundation in Glasgow at the time of the incident on February 4, 2015.

The council said Ms Locke was working a sleepover shift at housing run by the foundation, during which time the service user was ill, resulting in him having faeces on his face and body.

She took a photograph of the vulnerable adult before assisting him. Ms Locke then showed it to a colleague she was handing the shift over to that morning.

The council found Ms Locke "appeared agitated" at that time, before her colleague told her it was "inappropriate to take photographs of service users and advised you against showing the photograph to anyone."

She faced internal disciplinary proceedings and the incident was subsequently referred to the council.

Factors of "concern" for the watchdog included that Ms Locke had "not expressed any regret for [her] actions" and the man involved was "a very vulnerable adult and the risk of harm to him was high."

The council said aspects in the worker's favour were that she had been through a "very difficult shift and at the time you displayed the photograph" and this was an "isolated incident".

The watchdog gave Ms Locke a formal warning, which will be recorded on its register for two years, while she also has to complete a "reflective account" to demonstrate she has learned from the episode within three months of the decision being issued.

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