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suspended from work :( epic post

(46 Posts)
veryverypissedoffcarer Mon 15-Oct-12 15:43:45

Have NC for this. DH was suspended from work last Monday pending investigation of an alleged incident on the Sunday night (night shift worker in nursing home). He's alleged to have roughly handled a resident and been verbally abusive towards the resident. According to DH, he was assisting another carer with personal care of the resident and was being hit and scratched by the resident. He kept on telling the resident to stop hitting him while he was supporting her weight as she was on her side. The resident continued to scratch and hit him until he finally raised his voice and told her to stop. They finished working with the resident, got her resettled back into bed and left the room.

The other carer at no time raised any concerns about the way he had spoken to the resident nor did she say anything to him about the way he was handling the resident. Just to clarify, all care was done according to the care plan for the resident, correct equipment used etc. During the course of the shift both the other carer (A) and the nurse in charge (B) slept for approx 2-3 hrs leaving DH as the only carer awake to care for 24 residents. DH kept on waking them to help as he did not feel that the environment was safe. He finally wrote a note fao the manager and left it in the managers office stating that he wanted to speak to the manager as he was concerned about practices during the shift. (This is a new manager who started maybe 2 months ago)

He then finished the shift with no comment from A or B and B even told him and A to go into the resident in the morning. DH lifted the note from the mangers office on his way home as he felt that he should speak to the manager in person when they came on duty. Shift finished at 8am, gave A lift home, dropped DD at school then went in to speak to the manager at just after 9am. Manager said he couldn't speak to him at that time as he was heading to a meeting with some other managers (DH had seen them heading in) and he would talk to him after the meeting. DH mentioned to the manager that it was urgent and regarding safe practice. Told that the manager would ring so came home and went for a sleep. (DH had just done 3 shifts in a row).

DH then got a phone call in the afternoon asking him to go in to speak with manager. DH phoned me in a state after he came out of the building to say that A&B had made the allegations and he was suspended with full pay immediately (he was due to go in for a shift that night). No statement was taken from him that day and he has heard nothing from the home re. making a statement etc. DH contacted union rep and had been told to wait until he heard from the home.

We have waited for a full week with no contact. DH rang the manager this morning to ask if there was any progress or any idea of timescale so that we could get organised re childcare as I am due to go into hospital for surgery and have been told to expect a 6 wk recovery time. Friends are offering us help but we can't respond past the 1st few days post discharge since we don't know if DH will be back at work or not IYSWIM. Manager was very evasive and told DH that "with his track record he would have dismissed him after the 1st time".

DH is shock and angry as the manager is referring to an investigation where DH was basically hung out to dry regarding a moving and handling issue where a resident was injured and he was the only member of staff left to reprimand as by the time the investigation happened, the 2 other staff involved had left the job. However, the investigation found him to not be at fault as it was a training issue (no one had been given the correct training) which was to be rectified by all staff being verbally warned and retrained. This was last year and under the previous manager. None of the recommendations were followed and to this day no one has been retrained. Luckily the union rep he has was involved in the previous investigation so has knowledge of what had happened.

DH feels that he is being victimised because he is doing everything by the book instead of covering for other people ie sleeping on duty, unfinished paperwork. There are only 2 male carers and he has noticed that some of the staff treat him differently if he stands his ground. For example, if he goes in at 7:30 pm (handover doesn't start until 7:45) and refuses do do the tea trolley because A) he's not on duty and B) it's the day shifts duty then there's a lot of muttering behind his back. He raised several issues during a staff meeting including day staff leaving early and starting late. One day the whole of day shift excl the nurse in charge left at 7:30 pm when DH and another carer came in. They went to get changed and came down to find that the floor was abandoned and buzzers going unanswered. One other day DH wasn't home until 8:40 am (workplace is 10 mins away) because day shift didn't come in until 8:15 and night shift couldn't leave until there were enough people to safely leave. He says that he noticed a change in staff attitudes after that staff meeting (1st staff meeting for new manager) but it has been so subtle that he felt that saying anything would seem petty. He's such a shy quiet person and hates any sort of confrontation that it puts him at a disadvantage.

Epic post I know but we would appreciate any sort of information about how to go about dealing with this. The union are being helpful but I need to feel like we have some sort of clear picture as to what to expect or what we should do or say. Also posted in legal

mrscumberbatch Mon 15-Oct-12 16:38:43

If A & B were making allegations then they should DEFINITELY not have left him in charge and went to sleep. Thus their allegations don't really stand up to me.

If they were that concerned, they should have intervened or done something at the time.

There's not really any advice I can give as it all hinges on what management come back and say. The manager is a bit out of order saying that he would have terminated contract after the 1st offence (which was due to training across the board- not him as an individual.)

You've already spoken to the union, I think that you've done everything that you can for the moment.

mrscumberbatch Mon 15-Oct-12 16:39:28

On a less clinical note : poor you and DH. If everything above is correct then this is absolutely rotten.

veryverypissedoffcarer Mon 15-Oct-12 17:08:41

Thank you smile It has done DH a world of good to see someone else say that he has done what he can. TBH I can't see him ever going back to care work because he is so disillusioned.

veryverypissedoffcarer Mon 15-Oct-12 18:20:47


twinklytoes Mon 15-Oct-12 18:51:37

my first thought is that A and B are trying to save their own backs by jumping in with an allegation first before the new manager saw your DH's note re safe practices and that DH might inform of their sleeping on duty etc.

DH needs to request their disciplinary procedure asap. it sounds like it might not being followed. I would write everything down now with times etc, aswell as the notes regards the changes needed under previous managment - your DH doesn't want to forget anything, when the time comes to be interviewed.

sorry can't be more useful at this point. Oh, last point, does he receive a shift allowance for night shifts? if he does make sure this is still paid.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 19:04:55

bad practice all round, 2 wrongs do not make a right, your Dh should not have raised his voice at the service users, neither should he be expected to be hit and scratched, however there are normally clear proccedures in such circumstanes that involve leaving the hell alone the person you are upsetting.

What your dh needs to do is seperate the issues. (1)they should not be sleeping, seperate issue, (2) he should not be man handling someone who is violent and distressed without (a) appropriate restaraint agreements and (b) M&H proccedures in such an event. and (3) it is never acceptable nor shopuld be usual proccedure to shout at a service user.

Either way your Dh has done wrong in shouting at his patient/service user.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 19:09:24

Oh and funny how he hates any confrontation that puts HIM at a disadvantage, but will readily shout at a defensive person whoms dignity he is responsible for and who is unable to speak up for themselves.

alemci Mon 15-Oct-12 19:26:13

oh great so care workers should be kicked and punched so that the the defensive person may retain their dignity. I am sure posters DH did his best in very difficult circs

sounds a no horrible job especially night work. really feel for your DH. keep a log of everything. from now on.

shame he hadn't kept a diary before of all the things that others were doing e.g. sleeping on duty.

sounds like they really dropped him it.

veryverypissedoffcarer Mon 15-Oct-12 19:33:16

Man handling hmm The resident in question is well known for assaulting staff and all the procedures that are in place were adhered to according to the allegation made by A (manager confirmed that this is what he had been told by A).

DH doesn't dispute that he shouldn't have raised his voice. However, there are not enough staff members on at night time to allow for the luxury of leaving the hell alone the person you are upsetting to get another staff member. If they had done that the resident would have been left to lie in less than sanitary conditions until the nurse in charge became free. As I said in the OP there are 3 people on duty for 24 residents. The carers do the bed time routine and checks while the nurse does meds, care plans, dressings etc.

The resident in question is fully aware and able to speak up. DH did not readily shout at a defensive person whoms dignity he is responsible for and who is unable to speak up for themselves He raised his voice after asking the resident to stop several times as he was in a position where he could not walk away or protect himself from being hit.

veryverypissedoffcarer Mon 15-Oct-12 19:36:50

alemci luckily I have made him keep a diary of all that has been going on and advised him to make sure that he only signed his name to any turn charts etc and left the other carer on duty to sign their own (they had an ongoing practice where whoever was free to sign signed both names).

Llareggub Mon 15-Oct-12 19:41:58

Do the managers know about the sleeping on duty? This is usually grounds for dismissal.

MissKeithLemon Mon 15-Oct-12 19:52:09

OP, I agree with both Twinkly & Thetroll to an extent; but also to me your post reads as

"My DH did something wrong" followed by a whole lot of excuses and justification, trying to mitigate the situation he has found himself in.

This may not be the case at all - but if your DH is interviewed or provides a statement I think that is how it will come accross should he defend himself in the way you have in your post. You/he might want to think about that before it gets to that stage.

The facts are that you have listed a whole host of separate complaints re the issues surrounding his working conditions, but it appears that these have only come about following the complaint about his behaviour? (Second complaint re handling the care user badly/incorrectly)

For instance, if I was his manager I'd think it very "convenient" that he wrote a note but then removed it before I'd had chance to see it.

Not saying this is true - but it is how it will look.

He should do all he can to make good the situation with regards to his own behaviour to the care user. As Thetroll said - it is never acceptable to raise your voice in these situations. If he wishes to return to work he will have to accept that he has behaved inappropriately and make good in whichever way the management deem necessary.

All the other issues are serious enough to have warranted a mention at the very least at the time they took place and he may have to accept now that it will be their word against his.

Fortunately for him/you he may have a way out of being dismissed because it does sound as though the management have not followed correct guidelines re disciplinary matters and he may well have a case for unfair dismissal if he were to be sacked. Obviously this depends on what has/hasn't actually happened re the incident in question. (Training, or lack of, would certainly count in his favour if it came down to it.)

I would advise speaking to the union rep again re the companys procedures and then calling ACAS to see what they say about the situiation. They are a free service for mediation between employers/employees and can provide decent advice on how he shoupld proceed. It is not right that they have simply suspended and made no further contact by this stage.

veryverypissedoffcarer Mon 15-Oct-12 19:53:46

They are aware of it but have never had confirmation ISWIM. No, actually they did a spot inspection and found a carer sleeping but nothing happened hmm. Apparently the carer was on a new contract which meant that although the shift is 12 hours they only get paid for 11 as the rest is counted as breaks. I remember DH saying that the carers on the new contracts were pissed off because they weren't getting paid breaks. I think the carer managed to argue that she was on her break so was free to spend it as she wanted to??

DH has the old contract that gives him the shift as 11 3/4 hours. As far as he is aware the 2 staff who were on with him are on the old contract as they have worked there for as long as he has.

Have to say as an RN I'd fully expect to have my head handed to me if I slept during a night shift.... I've had a doze in the staff room during lunch break (as in eyes shut sitting in chair) when on day duty but had to be ready to go if an alarm went off. No way could I have done it on nights.

MissKeithLemon Mon 15-Oct-12 19:53:55

Almeci - seriously? Do you have any idea about the care of most elderly care home residents? If they were fully able and compis mentis they probably would not be a resident anyway.

alemci Mon 15-Oct-12 20:24:38

of course i am Miss Keith but we are all human and i am sympathising with OP's DH. I wouldn't want anyone hitting or kicking me, if he walked away would that would have been wrong too presumably. Just because someone is old, it doesn't make them nice.

I was replying to another poster who was criticising him for raising his voice. at least he didn't fight back when the resident was hurting him. TBH i wouldn't blame carers if they did retaliate.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 20:39:14

alemci that is not what I said and i think you know that, the dh should not have been hit and scratched but he is the one in controle of that, he should have removed himself from the situation before he lost his temper and shouted. a vulnerable preson hitting and scratching in loosing dignity, to maintain and respect that dignity then you either get on with it if it is a dignity of care issue, following care plan proccedure and restarint proccesdures or you make the patient safe and remove your self. there is no reason nor excuss to shout at someone.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 20:41:17

duty of care not dignity of care.

MissKeithLemon Mon 15-Oct-12 20:44:36

TBH i wouldn't blame carers if they did retaliate.

At this point you lose all credibilty.

Should teachers/police/ambulance personnel/door staff or any other professionals likely to be hit at some point also retaliate?

FFS the guy works as a carer - the clue is in the title.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 20:46:04

sorry op your last post is bullshit, if that where the case then why do they require care of a care home. your dh needs to learn a lot about looking after and communicating with vulnerable people who do not have a voice. Along with challenging shit that disadvantages him if it means being responsible for the appropriate care of those he is being paid to do so. Oh and grow a back bone whilst he is at it.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 20:54:51

oh and he may not have heard from them for a week as, if they are following appropriate adult safeguarding practices, they have possibly refered it to the police to see if they require any involvent with regards to the whole host of bad practice within this home.

MissKeithLemon Mon 15-Oct-12 20:56:34

I am assuming that Thetroll means the OPs post of 19.33.

Have to say I agree.

There is really no point in whining about pre existing conditions after the event/alleged incident.

As an RN I would expect you to understand that someone with no reason to be in a care home would not be there in the first place.

No one in their right mind pays care home fee's unless they have a need to be there. As you say a nurse is also present is it actually a nursing home rather than care home? If so the needs of the residents will be even higher than a regualr care home.

I'd say that your dh should think himself lucky that he wasn't being secretly filmed.

I tried to offer constructive advice in my first post, but actually sometimes its best to accept that you've fucked up and move on. Maybe he should resign before he is pushed
It seems that if all his colleaugues are so inept and yet it is he who is blamed and picked on for one incident, that perhaps he is not in the right job anyway.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 21:01:06

yes i did mean tha post misskeithlemon,i realise it wasnt ops last post. the thread has got to me a little, so im stepping back for bit but will read on.

alemci Mon 15-Oct-12 21:11:06

miss Keith - RN not sure but are a nurse. Not sure of the jargon I just feel you are being harsh on OP's DH. Yes he is a carer but he didn't lash out. he shouted at the client which is better, he is human. i think i would, if someone was hitting and kicking me. Perhaps he should have walked away but is that allowed in this situation

I can relate to OP's dh because he doesn't like confrontation. he probably puts up with crap day in day out working NS which is really hard. It sounds like his colleagues manage to have a sleep on duty but he doesn't and there is unfair practise in general.

Anyway just thankful it I don't have to work in such a horrible place and whatever you say, I still sympathise with OP's DH.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Mon 15-Oct-12 21:14:22

of course he can and should have walked away

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