District Nurse Paid Over £100,000 Compensation for Back Injury

A 56 year old district nurse was paid out £107,246 compensation by Surrey Primary Care Trust in December following a back injury that she sustained in 2005. Mrs Linda Andrews had been undertaking care in the home for an 80 year old gentleman with very limited mobility who weighed 22 stones.

Part of that care package included applying dressings to broken skin areas on the soles of his feet. There was no second carer to assist Mrs Andrews nor indeed was there an inflatable cushion or similar that could have assisted in the raising of the legs which were estimated to weigh 6 stones.

On one occasion in March 2005, Mrs Andrews was lifting the man’s legs onto a stool when she felt a sharp pain low down in her back. The resulting injuries were so severe that Mrs Andrew’s was forced to resign her job some time later.

Mrs Andrews who herself weighs only 8 stones and is just 5ft 4 in sued her former employer for loss of earnings and to compensate for her reduced independence as a result of her long term chronic back pain.

Judge O’Brien QC, sitting at the High Court in London, said the PCT was to blame for failing to respond to Mrs Andrew’s, and that of other nursing colleagues complaints. He went on to criticise the PCT managers for their ‘great lack of sympathy’ in failing to reduce Mrs Andrew’s workload following her accident or effectively responding to her worsening condition before she had to resign her position.

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