AN INVERCLYDE support worker who used 'extremely derogatory' language towards vulnerable and disabled service users has been struck off the care register.

Hollie Hume has been sanctioned by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) after a fitness to practise hearing found that her behaviour while employed at Quarriers Village, between Kilmacolm and Bridge of Weir, amounted to a 'serious abuse of trust'.

A report on her 'unacceptable' misconduct stated that the relief support worker called two service users 'mongos' and also used the term 'mong'.

She also told a service user to 'shut up' and on a separate occasion closed a door on the same person, leaving him unable to see staff.

Hume, who failed to attend the hearing, had no previous history of complaints and denied all the allegations.

A report from the SSSC said: "It does not need age or experience to know that the behaviours alleged were unacceptable.

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"It ought to have been clear to you that the language alleged was unacceptable in any setting, let alone at work in the care sector."

The report added: "You had been relied upon to perform your role professionally and properly.

"You had been relied upon by residents, their families, your employers and your colleagues.

"You had betrayed the trust placed in you by all of them."

The six allegations, which were all found proven and related to incidents which occurred between August and December 2021, included Hume telling another service user to go downstairs or upstairs to his room and removing a tablet from him for prolonged periods of time.

Quarriers, one of Scotland's largest social care charities, has been providing support to people living independently with disabilities for more than four decades and now has services across the country.

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Hume's employment within the sector was said to have been 'very short' and she claimed her employers did not investigate the issues thoroughly and that they were not raised with her by colleagues at the time they happened.

Two co-workers gave evidence to the SSSC hearing, while the panel also accepted a written statement from a third person.

The witnesses said Hume 'did not receive criticism well' and colleagues did not raise issues with her as they had 'apprehension about how she would react'.

The SSSC's legal representative suggested that this was an 'extremely serious case' and that Ms Hume's behaviour was 'fundamentally incompatible with professional registration', and also demonstrated 'a failure to provide an acceptable level of care'.

The report said: "The [SSSC solicitor] submitted that there was a risk of repetition, as there had been a pattern of behaviour apparently arising out of values issues.

"You had placed vulnerable service users at risk of emotional and psychological harm.

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"Your own comments in relation to the incidents were limited.

"Your representative had indicated that your age and inexperience had been a factor, and you could successfully remedy your behaviour, but there was no real indication of how you would do this."

It added that Ms Hume's actions could lead to 'public protection concerns'.

The SSSC panel were 'not convinced' that Ms Hume had demonstrated any insight into the issues that had been identified and the need to approach her work in care differently in future.

The report said: "You denied the allegations, as you are entitled to do, but there was nothing in the papers or evidence before the panel that suggested that you understood the potential impact of actions such as those alleged, the need to avoid unacceptable language, and the respect needing to be shown to service users and colleagues."

The panel deemed that removing Ms Hume's name from the housing support and care at home sections of the register was 'an appropriate and proportionate outcome'.