A health care assistant who was forced to have a hip replacement after an accident whilst working for the Newcastle General Hospital has been awarded significant compensation. The woman, from Tyne and Wear, was supported with her claim against Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust by UNISON and Thompsons Solicitors.

In April 2006, the woman was working at the Newcastle General Hospital when she was ‘buzzed’ by an elderly patient who needed attention. As she made her way through a corridor towards the patient, she slipped on a cleaning gel solution used by visitors, nurses and patients to wash their hands.

Accident at work resulted in a fractured hip

The woman, who has 34 years experience, fell heavily to the floor and felt immediate pain in her right hand side. The accident resulted in a fractured hip for which she required immediate surgery. Unfortunately the operation was unsuccessful and she eventually needed an entire hip replacement which has left her with a permanent shortening of one leg. After the accident, she could no longer work and was eventually retired on medical grounds.

She explains: “After 34 years in a job that I’ve loved, I was looking forward to a normal retirement. Instead, I’ve been left with permanent damage to my hip which has caused me no end of difficulties. If simple measures had been taken to ensure that the floor was safe for me and others to walk on, I would not have been put in this position.”

Representing the woman at Thompsons Solicitors, Nicola Waugh, said: “There should have been a system in place to ensure that hospital workers, patients and visitors could walk freely along the corridors without any danger to them. The hospital was aware that there had been other instances involving this particular cleaning fluid but did not take appropriate steps to remove any chance of danger.”