A clinical support worker, who was assaulted by a patient with a history of violence, has received a £5,000 compensation settlement thanks to the support of Thompsons Solicitors.
The 55-year-old from Macclesfield, was assisting a patient to eat their meal at her workplace in the acute admissions unit, when she was attacked by another patient.
The patient punched her in the face, pulled her to the floor and dragged her around by her hair, before crouching down and kneeling on her neck. The patient was pulled off by staff.
The patient in question was well known to clinical staff, as they had assaulted another member of staff several days before. However, the incident had not been recorded correctly as an assault, and so appropriate safeguarding measures were not put in place by the employer.
The assault, which took place in August 2021, left her with whiplash and forced her off work for two weeks. She then returned on restricted duties for 12 weeks, during which time she underwent a course of physiotherapy.
She turned to legal experts Thompsons Solicitors to make a compensation claim. Thompsons brought a claim against the employer that alleged the previous assault had not been assessed properly.
Consequently, appropriate measures aimed at addressing violence and control had not been put in place – measures that may have prevented the assault.
Liability for the assault was admitted by the employer.
Thankfully, she has made a full recovery from her physical injuries and is heartened to see some positive changes are being made by her employer to help prevent future incidents.
She said: “You may physically get over incidents like the one I experienced, but you never forget. It’s disappointing that I still haven’t received answers to the questions I’ve asked my employer about that day.
“However, it’s good to see that a seclusion room is being built. It will help keep staff and other patients safe during times when we have to deal with a violent service user.
“Thompsons handled my case brilliantly. Sam has been great at keeping me up to date with my case. She’s always made herself available and responded promptly to any questions I’ve had throughout the whole process.”
Thompsons argued that her employer failed to provide a safe working environment and consider the patient’s previous history of violence.
Sam Ledgerd, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Although we are pleased to have secured this settlement for our client, we’re incredibly frustrated that violence-addressed and control measures were not adequately implemented by the employer.
“The employer failed to implement a safe system of work and provide a secure workplace for our client. Employers have a duty of care to their staff. No employee should be made to feel unsafe at work and in environments that don’t meet health and safety standards.
“We hope she can now begin to move on after what has been a very unsettling time for her.”