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Adult care home manager removed from the Register for inappropriate and bullying behaviour

04 August 2020
Social Care Wales

An adult care home manager has been removed from the Register of Social Care Workers after a hearing found her fitness to practise was impaired because of serious misconduct.

In January 2019, staff at a care home in Cardiff raised concerns about the behaviour of Debra Lewis, who had managed the home for adults with dementia for more than four years.

The hearing considered statements from seven witnesses, including six members of staff and a manager at another home who investigated the claims, who described a culture of blame and bullying at the home.

Ms Lewis was accused of behaving inappropriately and in a bullying manner towards staff, with more than one witness describing incidents where Ms Lewis spoke to staff in a rude and aggressive manner, which upset them.

The hearing was also told that Ms Lewis behaved inappropriately to two of the home’s residents causing them to become distressed.

In one incident, she shouted at a resident, telling her she was going to get her removed from the home. In another, she behaved inappropriately and aggressively towards a resident who didn’t want to use a stairlift.

Ms Lewis also gave instructions to limit the provision or choice of food for residents, telling staff not to give them biscuits with their tea and to stop putting fruit in the dining room. Staff were also instructed to reduce the portion sizes given to residents.

Having considered the evidence presented, the panel decided that Ms Lewis’s fitness to practise was currently impaired because of serious misconduct.

Explaining its decision, the panel said: “We have found that Ms Lewis behaved in an aggressive and uncompromising way to staff and residents, and that she presided over an unhealthy culture within the home.”

The panel continued: “We have concluded that Ms Lewis breached the fundamental tenets of social care by failing to model caring behaviour to her staff and by treating the home’s residents in a way which on occasions upset them or failed to respect their dignity.”

The panel decided to remove Ms Lewis from the Register, saying: “We have decided that a Removal Order is necessary, appropriate and proportionate.

“We have found that Ms Lewis demonstrated long-standing and deep-seated attitudinal defects which resulted in harm to residents.”

Ms Lewis did not attend the one-day hearing, which was held remotely last week.