A former intensive care nurse has accepted more than £800,000 from Greenwich health authority after two hospital back injuries left him unable to work. Karl Douglas, a 28-year-old staff nurse, had to give up his career in 1992 when he injured his back lifting a 76kg (12 stone) patient without a mechanical hoist and with only one other member of staff. He had hurt his back lifting a patient on the same ward six months earlier. Royal College of Nursing general secretary Christine Hancock said employers 'have no excuse to avoid investment in the right training and equipment'.

Unison issued a report to members this week claiming that 36 per cent of ambulance workers and roughly a third of all care workers, nurses, portering and domestic staff suffered work-related back pain. It blamed inadequate staffing and training, and poor equipment.