A probe has been launched at a care unit amid allegations a teenage girl had her underwear forcibly removed by staff.  

Relatives claim the vulnerable 15-year-old has been left ‘shaken and distressed’ by the incident at St Mary’s Kenmure in Bishopbriggs.  

The Care Inspectorate said today that they are ‘carefully considering all the evidence’ after a complaint was raised by the child’s father.  

Speaking exclusively to the Glasgow Times, the teenager’s dad said: “My daughter suffers from complex needs and has post-traumatic stress disorder. 

“She has been through a tough time in her relatively short life, and this has latest incident has caused her a great deal of upset. I understand staff at St Mary's have a difficult job to do, but I just don’t feel comfortable by the way this was dealt with. 

“My girl is sensitive and deserves to be treated with dignity and compassion. To remove her underwear against her wishes and while she was menstruating was completely unacceptable. If her underwear was soiled or unclean and had to be taken off, she would have been more than capable of doing it herself.

“I’ve raised my concerns with the Care Inspectorate and the manager at St Mary’s. I expect a full investigation to be carried out as my daughter says she was totally humiliated.” 

However, staff at the residential care facility, which provides support to vulnerable youngsters and their families, claim they were forced to intervene due to ‘physical hygiene and self-care issues’.

Glasgow Times: St Mary's KenmureSt Mary's Kenmure (Image: Gordon Terris)

A spokesman for the Board of Trustees at St Mary’s Kenmure said: “A young person being cared for by us became distressed last weekend and staff were concerned for her safety. At the same time, the young person experienced significant problems stemming from physical hygiene and self-care issues. 

“For the young person's safety and well-being, staff intervened to change her clothing, which was very heavily soiled. At all times, the young person was covered up with towels and blankets to afford her dignity and respect.  The staff at St Mary’s Kenmure informed the Care Inspectorate of this episode in accordance with their own internal policies and procedures. No complaint was made.”

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The child’s father has also alleged that indecent images are also being accessed on shared tablets at the facility and has also raised concerns about the level of privacy his child and others are afforded. 

However, the spokesman for St Mary’s told the Glasgow Times that strict policies are in place to prevent youngsters from accessing pornographic sites or any other content deemed unsuitable. 

He added: “The problem of young people making use of electronic devices to access adult sites is one that is common to schools across the country.  

“St Mary’s Kenmure has a strict policy of no mobile phones and a trigger system alerts staff if a young person tries to access inappropriate sites on laptops or other electronic devices.  Where such attempts are made, staff intervene to close down access immediately and, as part of our ongoing IT systems, firewalls are updated regularly. 

“We work to ensure that the young people in our care are afforded as high a degree of privacy at all times as possible.” 

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate confirmed to the Glasgow Times that the complaints are currently being investigated. 

They said: "A concern has been raised with us about this care service and we are considering all of the information given to us carefully. 

“If we uphold a complaint, we will publish the outcome on our website."