A care worker has been cleared of 14 allegations after a panel criticised the “toxic atmosphere” at the North-east care home where she worked.
Fiona Stott, of Fraserburgh, worked as a night social care worker at Faithlie Care Home in Fraserburgh for the 13 months up to September 2015 and was accused of making comments that were racist and ridiculed her colleague’s weight.
There were 17 allegations in total and, though three allegations were proved, none of her comments were racist, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) fitness to practise impairment panel has now ruled after a five-day hearing earlier this month.
The report details “a rift” that emerged between Mrs Stott and a colleague known XX and “resulted in a divided workforce,” with some staff siding with Mrs Stott and others with XX.
“The consequences of the issues between you and XX were felt keenly among the service and it soon became a toxic working environment,” said the report.
It added: “While this unhappy situation and its cause were well known among the staff and management, there was no appropriate leadership response to it.
“As a result, the problem was never properly addressed and the air was never cleared. Instead, the protagonists were simply rostered to work at different times on different shifts.”
In most cases, the panel preferred Mrs Stott’s evidence to that of other witnesses and they criticised the care home for keeping inaccurate notes or taking Mrs Stott’s comments out of context.
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership chief officer Adam Coldwells said: “We will carefully study the notice of decision published by the SSSC and consider how to address the concerns they have expressed.
“Faithlie continues to perform well in Care Inspectorate reports and we will discuss with employees, management and residents how we can make further improvements to provide the best possible care at the home.”