Care worker gets £7,500 after suffering spinal injury while lifting a patient

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Jantje TechnauA Canterbury care assistant who suffered a serious spinal injury after trying to lift an elderly bed-bound patient has been awarded compensation of £7,500.

Jantje Technau had been working as a temporary worker providing in-home care to fund her studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

The accident happened at an address in Canterbury on 3 July 2011 when Jantje arrived in the home of an elderly woman who was lying in her own faeces.

Jantje twice called her manager at Superior Care to say moving the patient required two members of staff, but was told to proceed regardless.

Jantje said: "This lady was what we call a double-hander due to her frailty and because she could not support herself. Moving her on my own was not only a serious risk for me but could also have presented a major risk for the patient. I managed to move her, wash her and change her. I injured myself in the process but at no point did I fail to deliver appropriate care."

Jantje added: "I’m still suffering from the effects of this accident, which has affected all areas of my life. Even shopping is a problem and I can’t walk any distance without feeling tired. I can’t work in healthcare anymore, and now work 3 to 6 hours a week in child care. The income does not come anywhere near what I was earning before the accident."

Jantje has used the compensation she received to fund her studies and is now on a postgraduate programme after successfully completing her bachelor’s degree.

Michelle Rhodes from Simpson Millar represented Jantje. She said: "Jantje’s case was a challenging one because we had to prove and accurately calculate just how much her injury represented in terms of lost income in a career that isn’t always predictable. But that didn’t make her any less deserving – least of all because she got hurt trying to help a patient in need. Superior Care did everything they could to reduce the level of compensation but Jantje finally got what she deserved."

Commenting on the service provided by Simpson Millar, Jantje said: "They were really good throughout the long and frustrating process of securing compensation. They were always friendly and accessible and I felt assured that I was receiving professional legal support."


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