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The current NHS staffing crisis is being exacerbated by staff being signed off work due to back problems caused by dealing with obese patients.
Ambulance staff in particular, seem to be bearing the brunt of this as they not only deal with more patients per shift, but with patients getting heavier. Obesity related hospital admissions rose from 617,000 to 711,000 over a 12 month period to May 2019, meaning paramedics are putting more strain on their bodies while moving patients.
National ambulance officer for the union Unison, Colm Porter said dealing with heavier patients can cause back problems, but “staff shortages and rising demand, where crews are dealing with more patients each shift, are also taking a toll”.
It’s not just ambulance workers that are suffering. All frontline NHS workers who are involved in moving patients, whether it’s to get the patient to and from the different services within the hospital, or turning them to ensure they don’t get pressure sores, are at risk of back injury if the correct equipment is not available.
In any workplace, if sufficient safeguards are not put in place to protect workers, companies may put themselves at risk of being the subject of a back injury compensation claim. It is not just the physical jobs that may cause back injury, but any desk based job should require a risk assessment of the workstation including the chair, to ensure correct posture to mitigate the risk of receiving a spinal or back injury claim.
Use our compensation calculator to find out about back injury compensation amounts and see how much you could claim.
If you believe you have received a back or spinal injury due to either a breakdown in safety procedures at work, or indeed through a different avenue which was avoidable, such as a car accident, you should contact a back injury solicitor as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of making a claim for compensation. A specialist personal injury solicitor will take the details of your claim and advise you on the next steps you will need to take.