A north-east care home worker has been banned from working with vulnerable people after he struck a service user in the face.
Alaster Buchanan was employed as a support worker at St Modans Care Home on Christian Watt Drive, Fraserburgh, in 2016 when he struck a resident in the face.
He was sacked and the case was referred to the Scottish Social Services Council which investigated.
Now, an SSSC officer has considered the details of the case and has decided to remove Buchanan from the register of support workers, meaning he cannot work in the field again.
St Modans is run by Meallmore and has been registered with the Care Inspectorate since 2010.
It is in a single-storey purpose-built home in a residential area of the town and looks after up to 56 older people who need nursing care and support or who have dementia. The home also looks after up to nine adults with acquired brain injuries.
According to a new SSSC report, Buchanan was working on August 19 2016 when he struck the service user to the face, causing him to suffer injury.
The report said: “As a result of this, your fitness to practise is impaired because of your misconduct.”
Explaining the reasons for removing Buchanan from the register, the officer said in the report: “Your behaviour was aggressive and caused the resident to suffer physical harm by virtue of their facial injury.
“Additionally, your behaviour caused, or was likely to have caused the service user to be in a state of fear and alarm, thereby placing the service user at the risk of emotional harm.
“This type of misconduct is incompatible with the behaviour expected of a person registered with the SSSC.”
The report described the incident as a “breach of trust and confidence”.
It said: “Physically abusive behaviour involving striking the face of a vulnerable service user to their injury represents a loss of self-control, which falls far below the standard of conduct expected.”
It added: “The behaviour is at the higher end of scale of serious behaviours.”
The report said Buchanan denied the allegations and added: “There is still little objective insight or reassurance this behaviour is unlikely to be repeated.
“In the circumstances, the SSSC cannot be satisfied you would not pose a risk to service users in your care if you were permitted to return to the sector.
“There would be significant public protection risks if you continued to practise as a social service worker.”
In Buchanan’s defence, the report said: “You have not previously been found to have committed misconduct or your fitness to practise found to be impaired. You have co-operated with the SSSC’s investigation.
“The behaviour appears to have been an isolated incident.”
A Meallmore spokeswoman said: “We responded immediately to a complaint regarding the member of staff, who was dismissed, and worked closely with the SSSC as part of investigations into the allegations of misconduct.
“We take any complaint seriously as the safety, security and comfort of all our residents is always our top priority.”
In its most recent Care Inspectorate inspection in April 2018, St Modans was rated “very good” – the second best of six possible ratings.
The inspection report said: “Staff showed genuine warmth, compassion and understanding.”
Buchanan could not be reached for comment.