‘They failed to protect me and my unborn baby’ – Baldock Manor support worker went into labour at 24 weeks after patient hit her in stomach
PUBLISHED: 08:25 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:01 17 November 2016
A new mother who worked as a carer at the Baldock Manor mental health unit has told how she will ‘never go back to that awful place’ after a patient hit her in the stomach during her pregnancy.
The woman – who did not want to be named – went into labour days later at just 24 weeks, and had her premature baby boy’s chances of survival rated at just 50 per cent as he could not breathe unaided.
Her son, still on home oxygen, battled through and finally came home this month after spending the first 15 weeks of his life in hospital – and now she has spoken out.
“I feel the Manor failed to protect me and my baby while I was pregnant,” she told the Comet.
“I started as a cleaner then became a support worker. I changed to nights on a different ward as a patient was getting aggressive towards me.
“I went to a quieter ward, but then a patient began having psychotic episodes and lashing out at staff, particularly me, for being pregnant.
“He caused me to walk out crying after he said he was going to stab me in the stomach.
“I expressed my concerns but I was still expected to do his one-to-one care until finally he jabbed me in the stomach with a zimmerframe. After that I refused to go near him.
“I cannot prove that brought on the early birth, but all the people I’ve told, including professionals, have said that more than likely caused the placentral abruption that led to it.”
She wrote to Lance Adams, chief executive of Manor owners Nouvita Ltd, who replied that everything had been put in place to keep her safe – but she does not agree.
She said: “They’re putting in training to stop this happening to anyone else, which is good – but I don’t feel it compensates for what we’ve been through.
“I also have not been contacted by any management to ask how we are getting on. It just seems no one cares.”
A spokesman for Nouvita stressed that the Manor’s human resources team had been in touch and urged her to resume contact only when she felt ready.
The spokesman said: “Staff and management at Baldock Manor are incredibly happy that this worker’s baby is back home with his family. He’s clearly a very special and brave little boy.
“Human resources gave her various reassurances at what we know was an incredibly difficult time for her and her baby. They stressed that she should not worry about work, maternity pay or arrangements, which would all be dealt with later.
“The safety and well-being of all our staff and patients is our utmost priority. In keeping with health and safety guidelines, any incidents that do occur are investigated thoroughly, and any further measures that are required are put in place.”