Nurse claims see employee sacked

The Southern has learned a Kelso care home dismissed a nurse after it was discovered she was not qualified for the post.

A Care Inspectorate report in January highlighted the incident at Queen’s House, and graded staffing at the facility as weak compared to excellent in the three other categories.

It is believed an investigation took place which involved the police, while Scottish Borders Council’s social work department was made aware of the issue.

A CI spokesman said this week: “A member of staff was appointed to a position within Queen’s House for which they were not suitably qualified.

“Since care services often work with the very young, the very old and other vulnerable people, this is potentially a serious issue. That is why we regularly review recruitment practices in care services and take prompt action and demand improvement whenever we find failings.

“In this instance the problem was identified by the care service, which acted swiftly and took the appropriate action, including keeping us fully notified.

“The safety, welfare and dignity of people who use care services are our priorities at all times. We are satisfied in this case that the well-being of service users was not affected.”

Queen’s House is a private, not-for-profit home run by a voluntary management committee and looks after 32 older people.

Alastair Turnbull, chairman of Queen’s House, said: “There was an incident involving a member of staff who was dismissed.

“We wrote to all the residents and there was no issue with care.

“We were marked six (excellent grade) in all other sections of the inspection. This was an isolated incident which we have taken steps to address.”

However, a source told us: “My concern is that she was not a registered nurse and put residents at risk.”

In her report following a visit on January 17, inspector Lesley Smith wrote: “Queen’s House have a recruitment policy which complied with safer recruitment. However, there was a recent issue where this process was not strenuously followed.”

Ms Smith said the matron and management were open and honest about the incident but added: “We have to reflect the potential seriousness of the error in the grade for this (staffing) section.”