Hawick care assistant given warning after admitting mocking elderly resident

Buccleuch and St Margaret's Care Centre in Hawick.
Buccleuch and St Margaret's Care Centre in Hawick.

A warning has been issued to a Borders care home worker for dressing up as one of the elderly women he was paid to look after to mock her.

Care assistant Jamie Blacklock admitted posing for photographs wearing the woman’s clothes and jewellery in October 2017.

The 27-year-old even lay on her bed at Buccleuch and St Margaret’s Care Centre, off Myreslaw Green in Hawick, and simulated giving birth to her therapy dolls.

The Scottish Social Services Council ruled that his fitness to practise is impaired and gave him a warning valid for the next 18 months but decided against striking him off.

A spokesperson for the council told him: “Social service workers are trusted to care for the most vulnerable members of society.

“They must protect them, insofar as possible, from harm and must not abuse or neglect them.

“You failed to treat the resident or their belongings with dignity and respect.

“You abused the power placed in you by virtue of your job role and mocked a vulnerable resident by dressing up in and using their belongings.

“Your behaviour exposed the resident to an unnecessary risk of harm.

“The behaviour is serious as it was demeaning, but it did not result in any harm to residents.

“No residents were present at the time of your behaviour.

“Your actions raise concerns regarding your underlying values.

“Although you have demonstrated significant insight, reflection and remorse, you have minimised some aspects of your behaviour.”

His remorse since then and previous good record means he does not have to be barred from a career in care, though, ruled the council.

“You had a previous sustained period of good practise prior to the incident and have provided positive references,” the spokesperson told Blacklock, no longer employed to help look after the 17 vulnerable adults over the age of 65 cared for at the centre.

“It was an isolated incident. The risk of repetition is therefore considered to be towards the lower end of the spectrum.

“However, failure to take action in the circumstances would undermine the public’s confidence and trust in the social services profession and jeopardise the integrity of the register.

“There are ongoing public interest concerns that arise from your behaviour.”