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Carer given warning after exposing residents to ‘risk of harm’

A South Lanarkshire carer has been given a warning after failing to provide an “acceptable standard of care” and exposing residents to “risk of harm”.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) issued Elizabeth Sharkey with the warning after her practice “had been impaired” – she will now have the warning on her registration for 18 months.

The Lanark-based care assistant was found to have left a resident unattended in bed with a table pushed tightly against her, restraining her.

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Known as Resident AA, she also had breakfast cereal spilled on her and her bed, with a sensor mat and box of clothes lying in the middle of her room floor.

It also found Sharkey failed to seek assistance from colleagues in toileting residents in one of the units, resulting in her fitness to practise being impaired, amounting to misconduct.

It is understood the incidents took place in 2018.

In a statement from the SSSC it said: “After referring to our decisions guidance, we decided the appropriate sanction is to place a warning on your registration for a period of 18 months.

“When making our decision we considered the following factors: you were an experienced care worker and failed to provide an acceptable standard of care; and the behaviour took place at work and residents were exposed to risk of harm.

“Factors in your favour were: you recognise that you should have sought assistance from a supervisor in toileting residents of one of the units; you recognise that you should not have left AA in the condition that you did.

“Prior to the incident taking place, you were employed in the care sector for seven years; the SSSC is not aware of any previous issues concerning your fitness to practise during that time.

“You have worked for your current employer for two years and they have provided positive comments about your practise; you have fully engaged with the SSSC investigation into your fitness to practise.

“Having been advised of the consequences of accepting or not accepting the warning, and recommended to take legal advice, you admitted that your fitness to practise is impaired and accepted the warning on June 7, 2021.”

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