In this case study, employment lawyer Kevin Murphy looks at a client case where a family raised concerns after unexplained bruising appeared on a family member’s nose
Overview and Background
Severe bruises had appeared on the nose of a service user. Their family raised concerns with the care home manager in relation to the unexplained bruising that had not been there the day before.
Client concerns and aims
The care home manager, who was new to the post, investigated the matter and provided us with a written copy of the complaint, a copy of the rota and allocation for that day and a photo of the bruise, she asked what her next steps should be.
What we did
We advised the care home manager that we would need some additional evidence to progress this matter. We asked for copies of the body map that recorded the bruising and the one before. We also asked for a record of care given. From the additional evidence, we could see that the employee “Nigel” attended to the service user with a junior member of staff before the bruising occurred.
We instructed the manager to investigate with Nigel and the other employee, Nigel denied any knowledge but the junior employee stated that the service user was demonstrating some challenging behaviour whilst trying to administer care so Nigel pinched their nose to make them stop. She also divulged that she witnessed him kick a service user in the lounge. A review of the CCTV proved that he did kick a service user.
Outcome and benefits
We finalised the investigation and invited Nigel to a properly arranged disciplinary hearing, with draft questions to assist the manager who was conducting the hearing. It resulted in Nigel’s dismissal.
We also suggested that Nigel be submitted to the POVA register and the police. The manager followed our advice, he was listed on the Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme (POVA) and eventually served time in prison for his actions.
The CQC, commissioners and safeguarding were happy that the matter was taken seriously. The family were reassured that this was a one-off and that their relative was now safe with Nigel out of the care business altogether.
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