A Plymouth-based care support worker, who was injured while trying to help a patient into bed, has secured compensation with support from UNISON and Thompsons Solicitors.

Tonya Chilcott suffered whiplash-style strain injuries as she tried to support the patient, who had fallen.

The 45-year-old’s neck and shoulders were so painful that she needed three months off work to recover. She also struggled to drive and complete household chores for months while her injuries healed.

She said: “The patient was very unsteady on his feet, so there was always a risk he would fall. If there had been a hoist near the bed I could have eased him in, but instead I had to take all of his weight myself. In the end, the strain was far too much.”

Tonya turned to her union, UNISON, for support and with legal help from Thompsons Solicitors secured £4,250 in damages.

“A small addition of a hoist to the room by my employer would have made the world of difference to me,” Tonya said. “Thankfully, I’ve at least not been left out pocket as a result of missed work, thanks to the hard work of UNISON and Thompsons Solicitors.”

Ashling King, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Public service workers, like Tonya, go above and beyond every day to protect and support those who need it most. Alongside UNISON, we are proud to ensure when employers fail them they are not forgotten.

“I’m glad that Tonya has now recovered from her injuries, which were avoidable to begin with. Hopefully this will act as a wakeup call for her employer to make sure frontline staff have the appropriate support and equipment to carry out their work safely.”

"Hopefully this case will act as a wakeup call for her employer to make sure frontline staff have the appropriate support and equipment to carry out their work safely."

Aisling King, Thompsons Solicitors