A nursing auxiliary who suffered injury to her back after falling down a steep and slippery slope whilst at work has been awarded compensation by her employer, the Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust.

Mrs Jennifer Allso, 55, of Cowes on the Isle of Wight, sustained the injury in April 2005 after her employer failed to take necessary steps to prevent the accident from occurring. Mrs Allso brought the action with the assistance of her union, UNISON, and Thompsons Solicitors.

UNISON's Regional Officer for the Isle of Wight, Peter Terry, said: "We’re happy that Mrs Allso has obtained a reasonable level of compensation for her injuries. This case illustrates the benefit of trade union membership in the workplace. Our solicitors, Thompsons, provided free legal representation throughout, irrespective of the outcome. This is in contrast to the 'no win no fee' solicitors who take a huge cut in the award or require payment of large premiums for the ongoing provision of their services".

"Thankfully such cases as Mrs Allso's are rare, due largely to the work of unions and our workplace representatives in working with employers to ensure they comply with their legal obligations to provide a safe working environment. However, when employers fail we do not hesitate to act."

Explaining how the accident occurred, Mrs Allso's Personal Injury Lawyer, Gwenneth Jones-Wylie, of Thompsons Solicitors in Southampton, said: "In the course of her work, Mrs Allso was required to use a steep slope which was slippery due to the fact that it had been mopped by a cleaner. She was unaware that the slope was wet as there were no signs to indicate that it was potentially hazardous. The Trust failed to ensure that adequate precautions were taken to avoid the accident. Mrs Allso sustained long term injuries to her back, neck and shoulder."

Commenting, Mrs Allso said: "I'm glad that I sought professional advice to deal with my claim, otherwise I would not have secured a satisfactory level of compensation for my injuries. I'm grateful for the advice and support provided by Thompsons; without them I would have had to settle for a lower level of compensation offered by the Trust."