Residential social worker wins stress claim

A residential social worker has won £140,000 compensation
for stress-related illness, writes Alex
Thelma Conway has agreed the settlement with Worcestershire council
for whom she had worked for more than 20 years.
UNISON, which began the legal action on her behalf, says the
settlement is based on the injury she suffered, together with
claims for loss of earnings, loss of pension, further medial
treatment and re-training costs.
The union says that Conway became a whistleblower when she
uncovered poor management practices at the residential home where
she worked.
“As a result, after an investigation, the manager resigned and
Thelma experienced a long period of instability, with various
acting managers in charge.

In September 1996, Thelma was told that she was in sole charge.
She received no additional training and she complained to her
employers about problems at the home that were also highlighted by
inspectors, who recommended that the home needed a permanent and
more experienced manager,’’ said a UNISON
Conway said: “It was the worst four years I’ve ever lived
through. It could have been avoided if someone had simply listened.
I kept telling everyone that I was struggling, and I felt I was
letting people down. Normally I am a very confident bubbly person
but stress destroyed a lot of things in my life.
“It still upsets me when I think about what it has done to myself
and my family,” she said.
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison, said: ” It is important
that employers learn from these cases, and it is sad that this is
the fourth time that UNISON has taken a successful stress claim
against Worcestershire council”.
A spokesperson for Worcestershire council said that it had no
statement to make other than that it had admitted liability.

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