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Nurse taking legal action against NHS trust after patient attack

A nurse whose career ended after an assault is taking legal action against her former employer.
Louise Jago with daughter Amelie

A nurse whose career ended after she was attacked by a patient is taking legal action against an NHS trust.

Louise Jago said she was thrown against a door several times and lifted up into the air by her arms during the incident in 2012.

She added that she is unable to pick up her 5-year-old daughter and can no longer work due to constant pain.

Ms Jago said the pain in her neck, shoulder, wrist and thumb can only be managed with painkillers and steroid injections.

She is taking legal action against Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, and blames staff shortages caused by government-imposed NHS cutbacks for the incident.

Details of attack

Ms Jago was working on the neurological ward

A nurse whose career ended after she was attacked by a patient is taking legal action against an NHS trust.


Louise Jago (left) says she is unable to pick up her daughter Amelie due to constant pain

Louise Jago said she was thrown against a door several times and lifted up into the air by her arms during the incident in 2012.

She added that she is unable to pick up her 5-year-old daughter and can no longer work due to ‘constant pain’.

Ms Jago said the pain in her neck, shoulder, wrist and thumb can only be managed with painkillers and steroid injections.

She is taking legal action against Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, and blames ‘staff shortages caused by government-imposed NHS cutbacks’ for the incident.

Details of attack

Ms Jago was working on the neurological ward of the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, when she was attacked after helping a patient to the toilet.

She said: ‘The hospital authorities knew he was dangerous. He had held another nurse up against the wall and threatened to strangle her.

‘One night he chased me down the ward threatening to kill me and I had to hide in a staff bathroom. We all submitted incident reports – there were 2 or 3 daily. This was going on for weeks, if not months.

‘I took him to the toilet and we were chatting. Everything was fine. I was leading him back and he suddenly grabbed my arms and slammed me several times against the door. I was crying out as he lifted me by my arms so my feet were off the floor.

‘I called out for help but the only other nurse on duty was on the other side of the ward and she couldn’t hear my screams.’

Ms Jago said she managed to break free a couple of minutes later before raising the alarm with her colleague who walked the patient back to his bed.

She added: ‘I sat down and the feeling of terror and the extreme pain kicked in. I started to think of what could have happened because he was alone with me for all of that time and nobody could hear my screams.’

Lasting legacy

Ms Jago said the incident has had a life-changing impact, and that she is unable to physically carry on in her job and has experienced depression.

She said: 'My mother-in-law had to move in with us because I wasn’t able to even pick up our then 1-year-old daughter.

‘I am in constant pain which I'm told will never go, but I have to learn how to live with it. I’m a 33-year-old woman with the body of a 60 year old.’

Safety risk

Research published this month by law firm Slater and Gordon found that more than a third of public sector workers have been attacked or threatened while doing their jobs.

Ms Jago said: ‘I understand that the government has to save money, but it is putting the safety of staff and the public at risk.

‘Front-line staffing levels have dropped so low yet nurses are just expected to put up with it, which is totally unacceptable.’

A spokesperson for the trust said: ‘The trust takes staff welfare very seriously and endeavours to ensure that all employees are safe within the workplace.

‘As this litigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time.’

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