CARE workers have suffered more than 6,000 violent attacks resulting in serious injuries in the last five years across the UK, new figures suggest.

A study by the GMB union, using figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, indicated that 5,000 workers had to take time off work after being attacked.

A further 1,026 carers suffered injuries such as fractures, loss of sight, brain damage, loss of consciousness, asphyxia or amputation, said the union.

The union said true rates are likely to be much higher, as non-fatal injuries are 'substantially under-reported.'


Violent attacks account for a third of reports for residential care workers, compared to seven per cent of reports for all workers, according to the GMB.

National officer Rachel Harrison, speaking at the GMB's annual conference in Brighton, said: "Our members often tell us about the abuse they have to face at work and these figures back them up.

"These statistics are the tip of the iceberg, they only include the most serious injuries, and our members have to deal with violence on a daily basis.

"Unfortunately, our members are sometimes put under unacceptable pressure to keep working after an attack when they should be receiving care themselves.

"Care is crucial. For each of us individually, our parents, grandparents, kids, friends and neighbours, but too often the sector is overlooked and the people working in care treated less than the frontline professionals that they are."