Mencap care worker suspended after image of shopping bags piled on an elderly man's wheelchair posted online

A care worker has been suspended after a photograph emerged apparently showing shopping bags piled on her client's wheelchair while she smoked and talked on the phone.

The Mencap worker has been suspended by the learning disability charity, who said said it was "appalled" by the image.

The image was posted to the charity's Facebook page by Charlotte Shaw, who was concerned after seeing the image shared online.

She wrote online: "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.

"I don't think she should work with vulnerable people".

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.

Steve Baker

The image, which has been shared over 25,000 times, was branded "vile" and "disgusting" by Facebook users.

One wrote: "As a carer I find this disgusting and heartbreaking, too many vulnerable people are being neglected and it's not acceptable.

"I treat people the way I would like to be treated. People put their trust into us!"

Mencap is one of the UK's leading learning disability charities, campaigning on key issues and providing support.