Sexual abuse in hospitals, clinics and other NHS facilities
If you have suffered sexual abuse in the NHS as a patient, visitor or member of staff and would like to know if you can claim compensation then call us in total confidence on FREEPHONE 0333 888 0445 or send an email to [email protected]
Elizabeth Duncan, who is the head our our team of specialist abuse lawyers and an expert in medical abuse claims, was recently invited to assist with an investigation into widespread sexual abuse in hospitals, clinics and other NHS facilities.
The investigation was carried out by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Guardian newspaper. The BMJ is a highly respected medical publication that has been in existence for nearly 180 years and is dedicated to improving healthcare worldwide.
The BMJ report (which can be read here) highlights the problem of sexual abuse in the NHS. The figures it has uncovered are truly astonishing, but it is feared that due to under-reporting the true position may be much, much worse.
The authors reveal that in just five years NHS trusts recorded over 35,000 cases that ranged from abusive remarks and harassment, through to sexual assault and rape.
Both staff and patients are the victims of this sexual abuse, though the overwhelming majority of victims are NHS staff members.
The BMJ asked Elizabeth to comment on their findings and in particular the lack of dedicated policies and training within NHS trusts, with most trusts lacking a sexual safety policy. She described this as “absolutely shocking” and betraying a “terrifying naivety on the part of those trusts.” She is quoted in the report as saying:
“How they can possibly hope to keep patients and staff safe in the absence of policy and guidance is beyond me.”
Almost 12,000 alleged sexual crimes on NHS premises were reported to the police in the same period; a figure that includes over 3,000 rapes an more than 5,000 sexual assaults.
There have been calls for a full and independent public inquiry into the scandal and Elizabeth will be monitoring the position closely.
Anyone who has suffered sexual abuse in a hospital or other NHS facility and wants to know where they stand legally can contact our dedicated legal helpline and speak to one of our lawyers in confidence. Call us on FREEPHONE 0333 888 0445 or send an email to [email protected]