Andrew Eurich from Stickney, Lincolnshire, was working for the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust at the Ash Villa Care Home, a child and adolescent mental health service unit, at the time of the incident.

He and a colleague were escorting a patient down a corridor using standard restraint techniques when the patient barged into him with force, resulting in Andrew falling into a fire door and tearing the cartilage in his lower back.

A UNISON member, Mr Eurich was taken to hospital for immediate treatment, and he later needed a course of physiotherapy and acupuncture. However, the treatments did not control Mr Eurich's pain and he now requires injections every six months to help alleviate his symptoms.

Physically incapable of doing job

The 52-year-old had a total of five months off work within a year of the incident. Because his injury limited him from doing any manual handling, he was not capable of doing his job and had to retire on medical grounds.

Mr Eurich said: “I don’t blame the patient for what happened to me, but I am very upset that it has ended my career. I had worked at the care home for seven years and thoroughly enjoyed my job, but I became physically incapable of carrying out the tasks that were required of me.

“I will need to be on pain killers for the rest of my life, and cannot carry out heavy duty or even light duty lifting.”

UNISON East Midlands Regional Secretary, Helen Black, said: “Andrew and his colleagues working at Ash Villa Care home were trained to carry out restraining techniques, and it is expected that they would need to use this training as part of their work at the home.

“However, it would not, or should not be expected that employees at Ash Villa be presented with real acts of violence as our member, Andrew, was. For Andrew to have lost his job, which he found very rewarding and enjoyable, is extremely unfortunate.”

After his assault, UNISON put Mr Eurich in touch with Thompsons Solicitors who pursued a claim on his behalf.

Lisa Shaw, the solicitor from Thompsons who represented Mr Eurich, said: “Andrew suffered an injury from an unprovoked act of violence and compensation was sought from the Criminals Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

“He was subject to a violent attack and as a result has lost his job and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks, leaving him unable to fulfil his career as a nursing assistant. Our work with Andrew ensured that, whilst the CICA scheme has been dramatically cut back, he did receive some compensation for a life changing incident.”