Carer dismissed after service user had unexplained bruising on nose

Written by Kevin Murphy
19 July, 2023

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.


HR help and advice for your care home group

If you are in the care sector or have carers carrying out home visits and want to ensure you have the right HR support please get in touch with the team who can carry out a free HR review and advice you on your HR headaches.

Newsletter sign up


Next Steps: Sync an Email Add-On

To get the most out of your form, we suggest that you sync this form with an email add-on. To learn more about your email add-on options, visit the following page ( Important: Delete this tip before you publish the form.

Follow Us

Stay up to date with our latest news and advice from the team on social media

Download our HR How to Guides

Annual leave, Sunday working, group redundancy, stand-alone redundancy and disciplinary – we have some great tips in our resource pack.

Related Articles