A CARE worker in North Ayrshire has been struck off after being caught on camera leaving an elderly woman lying on the floor after a fall.

A Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) hearing found Margaret Howat unfit to practise after failing to provide help to the frail woman...and then lying about it to her bosses.

Ms Howat was employed as a care at home assistant by North Ayrshire Council and was working in Irvine when the incident happened on December 11, 2022.

The hearing heard that the woman suffered a fall while trying to walk across her living room. Ms Howat was in another room in the property when the incident happened.

But she failed to press the alert button to summon assistance for the woman, and also failed to contact the woman's family.

She then left the property with the woman still lying on her floor and with no other care visit due until hours later.

Ms Howat did not immediately report the incident to her employers.

But she did leave a care note which read: "AA heavily soiled and changed. Meds given. AA had fall when carer was in, seems ok. Settled in lounge."

However, the incident was captured on a movement-activated video recording system in the woman's living room.

The hearing heard Ms Howat was aware of the camera at the time. Footage from the device was later submitted to the panel by the woman's daughter.

At the hearing, the carer's representative defended her actions, claiming the woman was "not distressed" as a result of being left on the floor.

But at the Fitness to Practice panel, Ms Howat admitted the facts set out against her and that her fitness to practice had been impaired.

The panel found she had failed to provide assistance to the woman, caused distress to her by her conduct, failed to report the fall to employers and acted in a dishonest manner.

They said: "Instead of getting help, you left AA on the floor. When you left, she was kneeling or sitting on the floor.

"She was not near her usual soft, high-backed chair. She was not in a comfortable spot. She is not someone who usually sat on the floor.

"You pulled on your coat and looked round at AA. Your evidence was that she said something like 'where are you going?'. You left her house and went and sat in your van.

"You did not contact the service. You went on to your next care at home visits. She was not, as your note put it, 'OK' or 'settled in the lounge'.

"You knew that she was not likely to get up. You knew the next scheduled visit was not till around 4pm."

They continued: "You left a frail, vulnerable service user on the floor. You did not know whether she had been injured in the fall. She was not near her food and drink. She was put at risk of harm.

"Not only was there a risk of harm, but she was also subjected to the indignity of being left where she would not have wanted to be."

They agreed to order the removal of her registration to practice.

A North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on individual circumstances, nor on personnel matters.

“However, North Ayrshire HSCP can confirm that this person is no longer employed by North Ayrshire Council.”