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NHS to pay £75k to nurse

Posted in: Workplace Injuries 

Following an incident whereby an NHS nurse developed OCD after being pricked by a needle at work, the NHS are being forced to pay around £75,000 in compensation.  Alcinda Tobbal had been a trainee nurse at Whipps Cross Hospital when the accident happened, leaving her unable to carry out many of her day-to-day duties due to a fear of bacteria and ‘contamination’.

The accident happened in February 2008, after which the 45-year-old developed a very severe form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Her condition left her unable to live a normal life due to her fixation with cleanliness. Due to the severity of her OCD, Mrs Tobbal was dismissed from her job and also suffered the breakdown of her marriage.  The judge of Mrs Tobbal’s case, Judge Edward Bailey, awarded her with damages, including around £20,000 for her ‘pain and suffering’ – taking into account the breakdown of her marriage caused by her condition.

“Over full” bin

It was heard in court that the accident had happened when a dirty needle had been sticking out of an “over full” bin in an operating theatre.  Even though multiple blood tests ensured that Mrs Tobbal had not contracted any infections, such as HIV, the anxiety caused by the situation led her to develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  This was primarily caused by a fear of the HIV virus.

It was ruled that Mrs Tobbal ought to receive compensation for the damage to her marriage and the loss of her job.

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