Support worker at a care home in Gorefield gets a £60,000 pay out after a resident throws her five feet across a room

Lisa Fairclough of Irwin Mitchell solicitors

Lisa Fairclough of Irwin Mitchell solicitors - Credit: Archant

A support worker who suffered a fractured spine after being kicked five feet across a room at a care home has been given a £60,000 settlement.

The 64 year old support worker was attacked by a resident with autism at a care home and suffered a fractured vertebra in her spine which forced her into early retirement.

Maggie Bateman was attacked and kicked across a room by one of the residents at the Willow Lodge Care Home in Gorfield where she worked at the time.

Despite a continued denial of liability from Cambian Learning Disabilities, following negotiations between the parties, a £60,000 settlement was agreed to cover the pain and suffering caused by her injuries.

Mrs Bateman said: “After my accident I was really shaken up and my back pain was terrible. I am fortunate in that I have recovered to some extent but I still suffer from a lot of pain and I can’t live my life as I would like to.

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“Whilst I don’t blame the resident involved, I feel that my accident was preventable and that my employers should have upped their game to protect both myself and the other staff placed in a similar position.

“We should have been given more training on how to deal with potentially violent individuals. I hope that the company has now learnt from this and will make sure other care workers are now given better support in such situations.”

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The care home was a residential facility for young adults with autism and Mrs Bateman was employed as a senior support worker at the time.

She and other staff were aware that the resident had been violent in the past but no steps had been taken by management to transfer the resident to a more suitable facility or to provide additional training to better protect staff if a further violent situation occurred.

After the accident Maggie was forced to rest and wear a back brace whilst she recovered.

She then had weeks of physiotherapy and has since suffered psychological symptoms as a result of the attack.

Lisa Fairclough, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who represented her, said: “It is an employer’s duty to regularly consider the risks which their employees are exposed to and to take the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce those safety risks.

“The training she received was simply not appropriate to the level of risk she was being exposed to and there were other facilities within Cambian better equipped to deal with higher risk residents.

“More could and should have been done by those running Willow Lodge Care Home to protect their staff.”

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