A nursing assistant who was assisting a dying patient when another patient violently assaulted him has secured compensation with the help of UNISON and Thompsons Solicitors.

UNISON member, Michael Martin, who worked as a nursing assistant for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, was assisting a dying patient in the neurology ward when another patient with mental health issues hit him with a chair.

The patient with mental health issues had been getting progressively agitated and demanding to be moved out of his bed before he assaulted Mr Martin.

At the time of the accident, the ward Mr Martin was working on had minimal staff, he was one of only three staff responsible for twenty eight patients.

The assault left Michael with fractured ribs and chronic pain and ultimately forced him to give up his job. Five years on, he continues to take painkillers and has retired from the health service due to ill health.

Michael said: “To this day I still have to take painkillers to control the pain that is now a permanent feature of my daily life. Not only have I lost my physical health, but also a career about which I was incredibly passionate.”

John Cafferty, UNISON regional secretary for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “This is a tragic waste, a hardworking and dedicated member of staff has been left unable to work. Proper resourcing and less overcrowding, more specialist wards for violent patients and more healthcare workers with the training necessary to deal with threatening situations would mean fewer career-ending incidents.”

Amanda Dixon, from Thompsons Solicitors who represented Michael, said: “In the last year in the Yorkshire and Humberside region we have worked with UNISON to represent a number of healthcare workers who are facing the life changing consequences of workplace assault.

“We have seen too many incidents where good healthcare professionals, doing a difficult job, have sustained physical and physiological injuries, which now prevent them from continuing to work. At the most basic level a better risk assessment of the patient who went onto attack Mr Martin could have made all the difference here.”