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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.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:49:09

That is a shame, I thought employers had a responsibility not to put me at risk and that should be definable in court.

I will certainly speak to ACAS and the CQC tomorrow, I did all that bloody training with them which they will take all my wages for and have refused to give me the certificates for. What a waste of time.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:50:48

headlesslambrini Sun 13-Apr-14 19:51:05

Also get a copy of the company policy of lone working etc, make sure you know what they expect you to do in these situations and clarify this in writing. In last resort, call the police if you are being attacked but please make sure you tell them that he has additional needs so they dont go in heavy handed. Most likely if you do this the client will either end up in hospital or the social worker will be called - either way your company wont be happy.

TheReluctantCountess Sun 13-Apr-14 19:51:21

Would it be worth ringing 101 and reporting it?

HermioneWeasley Sun 13-Apr-14 19:52:17

If your employer unreasonably puts your health and safety at risk, your route is to complain and may eventually be able to resign Nd claim constructive dismissal - that's your recourse.

Did you sign anything saying you agreed to training costs being deducted?

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 19:56:09

Yes I agreed training costs to be deducted but nothing that said I could not keep the certificates I gained in training.

I have already spoken to the police and told them that he is a vulnerable adult etc.

So I am expected to continue to work for a company who has put my safety at risk?

edamsavestheday Sun 13-Apr-14 19:57:31

That's horrifying. Do speak to CQC and ACAS. Sorry you've been treated so badly. Thing is, quite apart from your injuries, he's not being cared for properly. His behaviour might be less aggressive if he had regular male carers he knew and could trust. If there is a care plan in place I bet they are ignoring it. And I bet the people in charge of this shifty excuse for a company are paying themselves big bonuses too...

Ledkr Sun 13-Apr-14 19:57:59

This recently happens to a friends dd, it's ongoing.

I worked for 12 years in residential CHILDCARE. We were regularly punched, tripped, pushed and threatened. Women were threatened sexually often, our cars were damaged and two staff had bones broken.
Tow teenage boys broke into the room I was sleeping in and assaulted me.
A member of staff had her bag pinched and was taunted by the youths as to what was on her mobile.

According to the police "that's what's expected in our jobs" I'd have thought it's more expected in a coppers job but that doesn't stop them arresting people. Who assault them.

The care industry in this country is a disgrace.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:01:18

Ledkr that is awful!

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:02:25

Edam, I agree with you, there is one male Polish carer who he loves to pieces and could be a live-in carer there (for 12 nights out of 14) and have other carers work around him, this would be best for the company but they have chosen not to do this and instead he has strangers coming in and women as well who he obviously doesn't like. It must be really hard for him.

SimLondon Sun 13-Apr-14 20:05:28

You've been working for this company for 5 minutes and you want to sue them for loss of earnings? I don't think that looks good.

Funnyfoot Sun 13-Apr-14 20:05:49

You do not have to work for any company OP.

I am sorry this has happened to you. Did you have access to the clients care plan and risk assessments before you visited him? (You should have)

I do not know if you can claim any damages but you definitely need to contact CQC and the local safeguarding team.

They are putting staff at risk and have a duty of care to put things in place to reduce any risks to staff or client.
You should not have been asked to go back. Some clients need lots of short visits with new staff members (along side established staff not in place of them) so that they become familiar. From your OP this did not happen. I see many failings in this as would CQC & safeguarding. Not just staff safety but also client safety.

I hope you are ok.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:14:23

I have been working for them for nearly a week and have another week of unpaid training that I could have been doing at another company. In my job that equates to £400 without time in between now and finding a new job.

That might be a small amount of money to some but it is not a small amount of money to me. I agree they are not caring for the client properly, I will most certainly report it to the CQC tomorrow.

I was given his care plan and risk assessments on my first shadow shift to read, neither said anything about him being violent or him being violent to women, everything suggested that he was only sometimes violent to himself and to property.

lauren222 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:15:13

You should tell the Care Quality Commission about your employer. It sounds as though they have failed to carry out a robust risk assessment and didn't review the care plan when his level of need changed. The company is legally obliged to notify CQC of any incident that is reported to the police. If they have failed to do this then that is also a concern. It sounds as though the service user would be more suited to a care home. Has the company contacted the social worker to discuss his needs? It sounds as though the service user may be at risk from restraint carried out inappropriately and PRN medication being used in the wrong way. Although the CQC cannot look at the employment issues they can look at the other areas i have mentioned here.

Tiredemma Sun 13-Apr-14 20:16:41

Your company is legally obliged to report this to HSE via RIDDOR.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:18:40

What got me is that there is no 'red light' procedure, there is a 'he is getting a bit upset, phone and ask for PRN' and then amber 'he is getting really upset and breaking things, remove yourself from the situation and ask to administer PRN' but there is no red light 'this person is hitting, damaging my person and beating someone up what do I do right NOW' procedure. It would be easy to teach to restrain him correctly, one of the care workers is an ex-police officer and another is a trainer of restraining techniques.

What this man needs and what his staff need are for him to be in a secure environment where he is able to be restrained if needed and where staff can be protected. The last time he attacked he began damaging cars in the carpark, ripping windshield wipers off and things.

Funnyfoot Sun 13-Apr-14 20:19:35

This incident could be classed as RIDDOR which makes it reportable. Did your employer ask you to fill out paper work such as an incident report?

Any act of violence including verbal needs to be reported also this would be RIDDOR as it is out of the norm so says his care plan.

Tiredemma Sun 13-Apr-14 20:20:20

Does he have a mental illness?

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:20:50

No I was not asked to fill out any paperwork, mind you everything is done online in this place and the office is shut until Monday.

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:21:44

Yes he does have a mental illness. I don't blame him at all, I blame the policies and procedures that have made it impossible for me to protect myself and the lack of duty of care on part of the company. That is my issue here, not the man lashing out, he has disabilities and he can't control that.

Tiredemma Sun 13-Apr-14 20:23:13

Im curious as to how he can remain living in the community if he is so violent?
What is his diagnosis?

Worried007 Sun 13-Apr-14 20:24:04

I really don't want to be that specific publically.

Funnyfoot Sun 13-Apr-14 20:28:03

You need to write down exactly what has happened, what time you telephoned the duty manager and who you spoke to and what action they told you to take.

I doubt very much you will get any financial compensation but you may do if you go through a solicitor for a personal injury claim against the company.

Also you will be protected via the whistleblowing policy however do you think it is likely the company will know it's you who has complained? If so you need to make CQC aware of the chance you may lose your job and give CQC your name do not do it as anonymous. This will help protect you from being fired I think.

Tiredemma Sun 13-Apr-14 20:28:14

Understandable, given the level of info provided in your OP.

ouryve Sun 13-Apr-14 20:28:19

If the company are asking you not to fill out paperwork, that sounds decidedly dodgy.

You really need to do some whistleblowing, here. I suspect the staff turnover for the company is extremely high and this will be the reason. They treat neither staff nor clients with respect and seem to have little regard for "paperwork" which they probably regard as an inconvenience

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