Stirling carer in court over ill-treatment which left care home resident in distress

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An unattended resident of a care home in Stirling was left in a state of distress when he was unable to call for help as his call bell was disconnected.

Last week Stirling Sheriff Court heard the man, in his 50s, had cried out for help with no response.

Angela Carson, a 58-year-old carer, had appeared last Wednesday after she admitted to having been subjected to willful ill-treatment or neglect under the Health (Scotland) Act 2016.

The breach happened between March 26 and 27 last year at the William Simpson Home in Old Plean.

Tax MP Sean Isles told Stirling Sheriff Court on Wednesday that the house was responding to a range of health issues.

The complainant was given the option of calling for help using a call bell, he said.

Carson had started his shift at 8:30 p.m. on March 26. Mr Isles added that a witness who entered the complainant’s bedroom at 6.30am the following day “noted that his face was bright red and that he was in a state of distress”.

The witness also noticed that the call system had been unplugged from the wall and that the resident “was upset and upset as he had shouted for help”.

The resident’s continence aid was overflowing with urine and his sheet had dried urine stains on it. The witness formed the opinion that the resident had been left unattended for some time.

The accused had been responsible for the resident “throughout the evening”, Mr Isles said.

Later, Carson told the witness “I’m sorry for the way you found [him] this morning’ and started crying.

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An investigation took place following which the police were contacted.

Carson’s defense officer told Sheriff Derek Hamilton that his client had a “deep sense of remorse.”

She had worked in nursing homes for a time, he said. At the time of the offence, she was working 12-hour night shifts.

He added: “She was constantly working throughout the Covid-19 period. During this period, some people died.

“She herself contracted Covid-19. She is a suspected victim of Long Covid, but has returned to work. She continued to work until this particular incident.

Carson had come to see the resident at 11 p.m. and he was “in a state of disarray.”

She had cleaned the floor and in the meantime had disconnected the buzzer.

She thought she had forgotten to plug it back in, but it was found hanging on the wall and the lawyer added: “I don’t think it was plugged back in properly.

The lawyer pointed out: ‘At some point during the night his normal habit is to walk around the unit. Obviously, at 6:30 a.m. the problem is discovered and causes much distress to everyone, including Miss Carson. She should have intervened. That’s why she has a lot of remorse.

The attorney also pointed out that March 27, 2021 was the anniversary of Carson’s mother’s death.

When questioned by Sheriff Hamilton, Mr Isles said he only had sketchy details of the resident’s care plan.

Sheriff Hamilton told Carson and his attorney that the Crown needed to get information from the care home about what the care plan should have been for the complainant. Only then, he said, could he assess what the failings were and how guilty Carson was for failing to provide proper care.

Carson’s not guilty pleas to two other charges of child abuse involving men aged 93 and 76 while carer at home on the same date had been accepted by the Crown. Sentencing was postponed until today (Wednesday) and Carson, of Falkirk, has been ordered to appear.

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