Nurse wins £345,000 for back pain

A former staff nurse has been awarded £345,000 for the back pain she received while working in a hospital which allegedly lacked suitable equipment to help move patients.

Carmel Commons, 42, is among the first nurses to win a case involving repetitive strain rather than injury from a single incident, said her solicitor, who suggested the NHS was wasting money by not taking sufficient care of its staff. 

Ms Commons was retired from Queen’s medical centre, Nottingham, in 1996, after suffering pain from 1994. She was awarded the damages at Nottingham county court last month. 

Richard MacMillan, her solicitor, said: “Each year thousands of nurses complain of back pain. Many of them are retired early after years of training and experience … this is made worse by the lack of proper equipment, in particular height adjustable beds.” 

Other nurses had made similar claims, some of which were settled, but employers had been able to impose “gagging clauses”.

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