A Care Worker Is Attacked In The Reading Area Every Day

Social care workers across the Reading area have been attacked on an astonishing 379 occasions since January 2005. A Reading Chronicle investigation has revealed that on average one person is attacked every day while doing their job.

Workers have been regularly punched, kicked and scratched, leaving them with a catalogue of facial, bodily and head injuries. In Reading borough, between January 2005 and last July, 67 carers were subjected to physical attacks while 48 suffered verbal abuse. In that same period 156 West Berkshire Council carers were physically attacked, with another 73 verbally abused.

Wokingham District Council has only kept records since January last year, but up to last month 27 carers had been physically attacked and eight verbally abused. Paddy Bunch, from the Reading borough branch of the Unison union, said: “Of course zero tolerance to violence against carers and social workers should apply.

“The principle of zero tolerance is accepted in Reading Borough Council. There is a lone worker policy and all incidents including verbal violence are required to be reported. Risk assessments are carried out. Unison is all too aware of the very real dangers that carers and social workers face and work is ongoing to try to minimise the risks.”

Wokingham district spokeswoman Jenny Coates said: “All Wokingham District Council’s domiciliary care workers receive a handbook containing our policies and procedures. This includes advice on personal safety, health and safety at work and the lone working procedure, where carers must contact the office at the end of their working day.

“If the call from a lone worker is not received, it is always followed up. All domiciliary care workers employed by the council carry an attack alarm and mobile In addition personal safety is discussed at carers’ induction sessions. If a service user was abusive to staff this would be followed up by the relevant manager in conjunction with care management.”