What price a needlestick injury?

Needle with drop of bloodWhat price a needlestick injury?  The average is around £2,000 but in one notable case now more that 12 years ago a young doctor managed to pick up more than £500,000 compensation claiming psychological damage after a sharps injury but without seroconversion.

Involve a solicitor and you will make them rich as fees are not inconsiderable, and you might get a little extra too, but not that much.

And at the bottom of the pile is this poor guy from Darlington, as described in a report today in the Northern Echo:


A VETERAN has called for change after being housed in a former ‘drugs den’ with blood and heroin covering the walls.

North-East man Mike Raymond served in the Army for nine years and was shot in Afghanistan, before leaving to face a struggle with anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

The 28-year-old moved to Darlington in March after being offered accommodation and support by the Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA).

Having only seen pictures of his flat, on Wilshire Place, Mr Raymond was appalled to move in and find the property in a state “unfit for human habitation”.

With blood spots and a substance believed to be heroin marking the walls, Mr Raymond became convinced he was living in the former home of a drug addict.

Days later, he stood barefoot on a needle hidden in the carpet and found several more scattered under the “filthy” floor covering.

After undergoing hospital tests following the incident, Mr Raymond asked the SAHA for help in transforming the property.

He claims he was charged £109 to have the carpets removed, given about £50 to redecorate the flat and offered high street vouchers in relation to his needle-stick injury.

Mr Raymond has also been the victim of regular anti-social behaviour with those living nearby blamed for gluing up his door locks and targeting him with verbal abuse.

Requests to move to a quieter flat around the corner have been declined and he is now calling for more to be done to support those in his position.

He said: “It was disgusting, when I moved in I didn’t want to touch anything.

“They said the flat had been cleaned and the marks on the wall were coffee and of no concern.

“After standing on the needle, I had tests that made my anxiety worse and I didn’t want to touch anyone in case I passed something on.

“The flat was unfit for anyone to live in and they knew that – it’s not right.”

A spokesman for the SAHA said: “We are deeply concerned by Mr Raymond’s experience.

“The action we have taken today is to launch an urgent investigation as we do not wish this situation to have fallen short of the high standards we deliver within our organisation.

“We would also like to apologise to him for any additional disruption he has experienced and assure him of our attention as a matter of urgency to resolve this.”


A few high Street shopping vouchers seems to be insulting, even though the housing association was run by a sound charitable organisation that needs to account for every penny in order to help as many people as possible.

What do you think?




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