A Gosport woman, who suffered permanent arm injuries after being pushed over by a care home resident she was caring for, has secured £30,000 in compensation thanks to the help of Thompsons Solicitors and her union UNISON.

Elizabeth ‘Bet’ Hoyles, a 70-year-old former autism support worker, was attacked by a resident at Autism Hampshire care home in August 2018.

The resulting fall left the autism support worker of 23 years with ongoing pain in her arm. The injuries continue to have a severe impact on her life today and restrict her ability to enjoy beloved hobbies such as cycling and dressmaking.

Mrs Hoyles lays no blame on the resident, who suffers from severe autism.

The UNISON member has, however, been angered by the lack of support from her employer Autism Hampshire.

Warnings she gave management about the increased volatility of the resident’s behaviour, such as lashing out and hitting people, went unheeded.

Mrs Hoyles, who had to take early retirement as a result of the incident, said: “I’m disgusted with how I was treated by Autism Hampshire. I received no care and support from them.

“I and other supply staff were treated appallingly. They failed to review supply staff incidents with residents and make sure any change in risk was properly communicated.

“They also failed to employ enough staff and provide adequate training to help support the highly complex needs of vulnerable residents.

“There are countless other examples of social care staff being badly treated and they shouldn’t have to put up with it.”

Along with her physical injuries, Mrs Hoyles has also been left with debilitating psychological issues.

Mrs Hoyles added: “I’m a lot less confident since the incident. I’ve become very withdrawn and don’t go out as often as I used to. I have to rely on my husband to drive me about.

“On a positive note, Thompsons has been brilliant. They’ve been incredibly supportive, along with my union, UNISON. I would recommend anyone working in social care to join a union, because of the invaluable legal support and advice that you receive from law firms like Thompsons.”

Joanne Soccard, from Thompsons Solicitors, who represented Mrs Hoyles, said: “This was a horrible incident for Bet to experience. Autism Hampshire failed in its duty of care.

“Someone who works tirelessly every day to care and support vulnerable people shouldn’t be left exposed to unsafe working conditions by their employer.

“Although no amount of money can undo the ongoing impact of Bet’s injuries, we’re pleased we could secure a satisfactory compensation settlement to allow her to move forward with her life.”