I was attacked today at work.

(95 Posts)
Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:14:24

I started working for a new company on Tuesday officially but they have been making me do mandatory, unpaid training for around the last two weeks, which they are charging me for but refuse to give me the certificates for.

I went into the clients house for the first time on Wednesday and did a shadow shift, I had been told that he was non-violent and when he was violent he would damage property or himself (punch himself in the head) rather than attack anyone else.

I then found out that on Monday he had attacked two female carers, one of which was not happy to return to the service.

On Saturday I did my first shift, he receives 2:1 care during the day and 1:1 care from 7pm onwards.

On Saturday he attacked me twice, first he punched me in the side of the head and then he punched my throat as we got out of the car.

I phoned the On Call and informed them that he was aggressive, he then burst into the room where I was hiding and came over to me, fortunately he just gave me a hug but as my colleague pointed out, he was unable to prevent the man from coming into the room because there is a strict 'no restraining' policy in place in the service.

We asked for an additional member of staff to come the following day, because he had fixated on me through the evening even after PRN medications and was obviously unhappy.

I arrived at 9am on Sunday morning and the client was obviously distressed, about 10 minutes after he had eaten breakfast, he launched himself at me and began pulling my hair out and thumping me. Fortunately my colleague ignored the 'do not restrain' order and pulled him off me, I hid in a bathroom for five minutes and then went to call the On Call again.

As I came out of the bathroom, the client grabbed me by the throat and pinned me up against the wall, I have bruising and scratch marks across my neck and chest where he grabbed me. My colleague pulled him off me again and told me to get in the bedroom and hold the door shut while the client kicked the door trying to get in. I phoned the On Call and they said that they would 'try' and send someone else out, I said that is good because I was leaving, they then told me that if I left it would be gross misconduct and I would be sacked. Given that a girl is already suing them for negligence I thought they had quite a nerve telling a bleeding member of staff that they could not leave a service, despite the client clearly continuing to attack them repeatedly.

I left and have spoken to the police who recorded my injuries. I am very shaken up and worried about tomorrow. Could do with any sort of legal advice and some hand holding if possible.

HermioneWeasley Sun 13-Apr-14 19:17:19

What sort of legal advice are you after?

C0smos Sun 13-Apr-14 19:18:08

Nothing useful to say sorry - but that sounds horrific, I hope you are ok. Please don't go back and keep yourself safe. Getting something in writing from your colleague might be useful.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:19:02

Well I think that they have been negligent, the man has attacked women before and they are still hiring women (I.e Me) to work with him and lone work with him.

They have policies in place saying 'do not restrain' despite him causing bodily harm to more than one individual (all women)

I would like to pursue a claim for loss of earnings.

3littlefrogs Sun 13-Apr-14 19:19:17

Go to A&E or GP or OOH to get injuries documented and checked, then stay off sick until this is resolved.

They must be breaking all sorts of employment laws. This is shocking.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:20:26

I think the police may have gone and taken a statement from my colleague I am not sure. I have only been working there since Tuesday so I don't have his address or name.

peggyundercrackers Sun 13-Apr-14 19:20:50

sorry i dont have any legal advice for you but would have thought the company you work for have a duty of care to protect their staff. must have been really frightening for you at the time and all sorts must have gone through your head. i think i would be getting some legal advice about the situation you are in - maybe speak to acas?

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:21:11

I will visit the GP tomorrow, I thought that going to the police and having the injuries logged would be enough. I am not seriously hurt but have scratches and bruising.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:22:11

I intend to speak to ACAS first thing in the morning and I have found a 'no win no fee' negligence claim lawyer that I want to speak to. My mum works in this field but is abroad so I need to wait until she is awake to speak to her. Thank you for talking to me about this, I am really quite shaken and upset.

Selks Sun 13-Apr-14 19:23:12

Jesus Christ! That's awful! Do not go back to work for these people!

Care agencies, as far as I am aware, have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. I would speak to them about your experiences ASAP.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:24:06

I think they will fire me for gross misconduct, I left the property because he was fixated on me and coming for me, kicking me, biting me you name it. After he had pinned me up against a wall by my throat and was trying to hit me I had to leave.

Selks Sun 13-Apr-14 19:24:13

Get photographs of your injuries as well as contact details for the other member of staff that witnessed this.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:24:40

Yes I think I will speak to the CQC tomorrow morning as well, after ACAS and before the lawyers

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:26:01

I can't get contact details for the other member of staff, I don't have access to that but he will be on the system at work so findable for whoever investigated it. I have photographed my injuries as soon as I came home, I was so scared that I didn't even notice I was bleeding until I was five miles away from the property.

He attacked two women on Monday, he always attacks women yet we are still expected to lone work with him. They don't even keep the knives in a locked high up place, they are easily accessible by him

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:28:39

All the incidents will be logged and reported anyway, that is part of the job, both the incidents yesterday were logged and we did phone and ask for another member of staff to come but they ignored us. Then they tried to tell me it was my fault that I had to leave because they didn't have the staff to cover, despite the other member of staff telling me that often when they have not been able to find cover, they have lone worked with him through the day.

HermioneWeasley Sun 13-Apr-14 19:29:50

Sounds like you may have a constructive dismissal claim over health and safety - but you will have to pay about £1000 to have your claim heard and your compensation won't be a lot. ACAS can advise further on this.

In terms of an injury claim, while the risk was high the injuries are not life changing so I don't think you'll get anything through that route, but again a PI solicitor will be able to advise further.

I would be reporting this company to the health and safety exec though, they sound dreadful.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 13-Apr-14 19:30:21

Absolutely gobsmacked at your employer's attitude. I don't have any legal knowledge, but sheer common sense tells me that if HE is not in immediate danger and YOU are, it cannot possibly be gross misconduct to remove yourself to a safe place rather than sit there and let him stomp you into the carpet. I am sure there will be plenty of solicitors who would take that on free of charge. Make sure you have your injuries photographed - both for record in any proceedings at work, and for use elsewhere if it comes to it.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 13-Apr-14 19:31:04

Sorry, x-post.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 13-Apr-14 19:32:13

...and by free of charge I meant no win no fee, of course. Hope it works out ok anyway, wishing you the best of luck.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:35:31

I don't want to go for an injury claim because my injuries are not that bad. I want to go for loss of earnings and gross negligence on part of the company. They put me at extreme risk despite having full understanding of the complex needs of the client and did not protect my welfare in any respects, for example they did not;

send another member of staff when requested
phone back and check on my welfare after the first attack (Saturday)
give me permission to leave the property on Sunday even though he was continuing to attack me.
Change their policies after the first 3 attacks on women to say that the client can be restrained if his is violent towards members of staff.

SmashleyHop Sun 13-Apr-14 19:37:09

It sounds like you work for the same company my husband does. He is constantly left to care for clients who need 2:1 care round the clock instead are placed in a group of 10 clients with only 3 staff. DH has been punched, bitten, scratched, had a tv and other heavy objects thrown at him- I could go on and on. What's worse is he is left with no plan to protect himself. He can't restrain or even fight off a client. Another of his coworkers once pulled a client out of oncoming traffic and was fired for forcing the client to do something he didn't want to! It's scary and you have my sympathies. I wish my DH had the strength to stand up and say something about the way this company runs things. It's terrible.

headlesslambrini Sun 13-Apr-14 19:37:19

If you get nowhere with your employer then I would get in touch with the duty social worker. This is probably against any company policy though. It sounds as if there has been a change in the clients circumstances and his care plan needs to be reassessed.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:40:21

Yes but you would think his care plan needed to be reassessed after he attacked the first woman, or the second, or the third. But no they are in court with one woman and have lost countless other members of staff due to their negligence and inability to support and train their workers.

I realise I may have to pay out £1000 to take this to court but I will do that if necessary.

HermioneWeasley Sun 13-Apr-14 19:45:47

OP, I'm not sure what legal avenue you have for negligence?

A constructive dismissal award would take into account loss of earnings, but you are expected to mitigate that loss.

Selks Sun 13-Apr-14 19:48:54

The care industry in this country is a disgrace. There are few industries where the workers are exploited so badly angry

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