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Accident at work

Beverley’s story

Beverley, a 42-year-old care home worker, was working a night shift at Tall Trees Care Home in Chipping Norton, in September 2018, when a resident with dementia wandered into another person’s room. After being persuaded by her to leave the bedroom, he attacked Beverley, punching her in the groin and chest.

The care home resident had displayed aggressive and inappropriate sexual behaviour before assaulting Beverley. There were instructions in place to ensure a male carer gave him one-to-one day care, but that was not provided at night – despite him being active during those hours and being known to wander and exhibit aggressive behaviour.

“The events of that one night have had long-term consequences for me,” she said. “Physically, emotionally, mentally and financially – the last few years have been difficult.”

Since the incident, Beverley has needed two lots of surgery, has significant scarring and needed ongoing support for post-traumatic stress disorder. She has felt unable to continue working in dementia care and while she has found alternative employment, her symptoms have prevented her from working full-time. With the support of Thompsons Solicitors, she has secured £55,000 in compensation for what happened and its continuing impact on her life.

Beverley added: “I’m glad I had the support of Thompsons at hand. They were able to explain my rights and kept me updated on my case.”

Harriet Mearns-Thomas, a personal injury lawyer at Thompsons, said: “Every 30 minutes in the UK, a health and social care worker is attacked. Sadly, violence and aggression are often considered just part of a carer’s job but that shouldn’t be the case.

“Health and safety regulations exist to help protect employees like Beverley from harm, and employers are legally bound to adhere to them.

“The care home knew this resident posed a danger, particularly to female employees, and they had made daytime provision for that. Unfortunately the day support didn’t continue into the night, despite the threat of violence being known to continue. The result was the serious and frightening attack experienced by Beverley and the consequences of which she is continuing to have to live with.

“Carers in the UK are under incredible pressure and we are proud to support those who need our help.”