A Mencap support worker has been suspended after a photograph emerged apparently showing shopping bags piled on a client in a wheelchair, obscuring his vision. The learning disability charity said it was appalled by the image, which shows a female carer smoking and talking on the phone next to an elderly man, who has several bags on a lap tray on his wheelchair.
The image was posted to the charity’s Facebook page by Charlotte Shaw.
“One of your staff in the Leicestershire area smoking whilst on the phone in Leicester shoving all her shopping bags on top of him with no care in the world,” she wrote in a post accompanying the photograph.
“I don’t think she should work with vulnerable people,” she added.
Steve Baker, regional director of services at Mencap, confirmed the charity had suspended the worker.
“We are appalled by what is happening in the picture. After seeing it we immediately took action, and have suspended the support worker in question and reported the issue to the relevant local authority safeguarding team.
“We take the wellbeing of the people we support extremely seriously, and we expect and train our staff to deliver high quality care and support services. What we see here would fall well below that standard.”
He added: “Our priority now, as always, is ensuring that we offer the highest quality of care to our beneficiaries so they live the lives they choose.”