Health assitant forced to leave work
A HEALTH care assistant has been forced to give up the job she loved after suffering a serious back injury while lifting a patient.The woman from Felixstowe has been paid compensation in an out of court settlement.
A HEALTH care assistant has been forced to give up the job she loved after suffering a serious back injury while lifting a patient.
The woman from Felixstowe has been paid compensation in an out of court settlement.
Today UNISON, the UK's largest public service union, called for better training for healthcare assistants - and said the woman's injury could have been avoided with training.
The woman, who has not been named, worked as a health care assistant for the former Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust - since replaced by the Suffolk PCT - at the former Bartlet Hospital.
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On the day of her accident, she was attending to a patient with another carer.
They lifted the patient with the use of a handling belt and attempted to adjust the person's clothes.
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While doing so, the patient fell onto the woman, seriously injuring her back.
The woman said: “My injury could easily have been avoided if I'd had proper training.
“Looking back, we shouldn't have attempted the task without a third person present to adjust the patient's clothing.”
Greg Grant, UNISON Regional Secretary, said: “Although very rewarding, care working is a difficult job at the best of times but it is made even harder when the health trusts fail to train staff properly.
“Sadly our member had to give up a job she loved and will need every penny of her compensation.
“Better training is the key to reducing back injuries which are far too common in the NHS.
“The latest staff survey reported that 12 per cent of NHS staff had been injured in the past year because of moving and handling patients.
“Trusts cannot afford to lose good staff and they must ensure they get the training needed to do the job safely.”
Representing the woman, Karen Mitchell from Thompsons Solicitors, Chelmsford, said: “This case is yet another example of the lack of training given by health trusts to health care assistants in how to use a handling belt.
“If they were trained properly in accordance with patient handling techniques and manuals, accidents like this would be minimised.”
A spokesman for Suffolk PCT said: “Making sure our staff are fully trained is something we take very seriously.
“We run a full and robust programme of mandatory training along with regular refresher courses which we encourage all of our staff to attend.”
Do employers provide enough training for staff? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk