Swansea pays social worker for attack

A social worker has won £200,000 in compensation from her
employer following a “vicious assault” which resulted in her
developing serious psychological injuries that left her unable to

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, worked for Swansea
social services and was attacked by a client in June 1998. Her
claim was settled out of court but public sector union Unison is
highly critical of the way the council handled her case.

Unison’s head of local government in Wales, Paul Elliott, said that
if the local authority had listened to the concerns of the social
worker, the incident would not have happened. He said the client
had previously threatened the woman and, although managers knew
this, she had been told to meet the client alone at the council’s
offices, where the assault took place.

“Money can never really compensate for the injuries that this
social worker suffered, or the fact that the social worker was
forced to give up a job she loved,” Elliott said.

A statement from the Swansea Council said that everything possible
was done to protect staff from harm and that it very much regretted
that the assault had taken place.

The council said the claim had been vigorously defended, but that
the parties had agreed to a settlement prior to the completion of
the hearing.

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