Parkanaur College care worker case - union asks for meeting with health trust

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A spokesperson for the female carer who successfully argued that she had been unfairly dismissed from her job at Parkanaur College, has called on the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT) to meet with the former employee.

An Industrial Tribunal was asked to consider whether the woman had been constructively dismissed when she resigned in December 2014 following two incidents of assault on her by a resident and following an unsuccessful outcome to her grievance in respect of the assaults.

Parkanaur College provides training courses and residential accommodation for young people with learning and physical difficulties and disabilities.

Central to the hearing were incidents in October 2013 and June 2014, when the support worker was injured by a resident with “particularly challenging behaviour”, learning difficulties and profound deafness.

Speaking after the case, a spokesman for the Independent Workers’ Union, which represented the woman at the hearing, told the TIMES: “The outcome by the Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunal is very welcomed in this case however our member has had to resign from a job she loved as a learning disability support worker and it is likely she will not be able to work again due to the trauma she suffered from the assaults in her workplace and the lack of support and protection from her employer.”

The spokesman added he expected the Trust to meet “this brave support worker”.

When contacted by the TIMES, a spokesman for the SHSCT said no requests had been formally made for a meeting involving the parties.

The spokesman also confirmed that responsibility for health and safety at the facility lies with Parkanaur management and RQIA, the body which oversees residential care properties.