A nurse who will never work again after damaging her back while trying to move a faulty hospital bed has won £45,000 compensation, with the help of her trade union UNISON.

Jacqueline Crowe, 46, from Stanley, in County Durham, was forced to leave her job after the accident at South Moor Hospital, in Stanley.

The UK’s largest public sector union took her claim to Newcastle County Court and the case was settled on the first day of the hearing with Durham and Darlington Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Mrs Crowe hurt her neck after trying to move the hospital bed to change the sheets.

Jarred her back and neck

The bed brake failed to release, so when she pulled the bed towards her she jarred her back and neck.

She is now suffering from depression and must take strong painkillers every day.

Mrs Crowe said:

“I worked as a nurse for more than 20 years and enjoyed my job.

“Lifting and handling was a large part of my job and I had been trained in the correct techniques.

“However, the bed’s brake was faulty and the simplest move has led to me being unable to work.”

The most common injury suffered by nurses is a back injury

Liz Twist, UNISON’s Regional Head of Health, said:

“We welcome the compensation from the Durham and Darlington Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, however Mrs Crowe should never have been put in this situation in the first place.

“The most common injury suffered by nurses is a back injury.

“Problems like this one can be avoided if the equipment is kept in good repair.

“We would urge all employers to make sure they are abiding by health and safety regulations.”

Michelle Reid-Mitchell from Thompsons Solicitors added: “If the hospital had ensured its equipment was in good working order Mrs Crowe would not have suffered from serious back pain for another seven years.

“A simple check of equipment could have avoided this accident.”