Abuse in Hospital & Healthcare

In a healthcare setting medical professionals have a duty of care to protect their patients from sexual, physical and emotional abuse.  This doesn’t change whatever part of the healthcare system you are in including impatient, NHS or private.

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse as a result of your involvement in hospital or a healthcare organisation either as a patient or as an employee, you may want justice, compensation, or simply an apology. You may also want further advice and support.

Whether the sexual abuse suffered was by an individual who was an employee or fellow patient in hospital or a healthcare organisation, you deserve justice. For many people, this includes the compensation you may be entitled to. While compensation can't undo the experience of suffering abuse, it can help you start to move on with your life.

 

Institutional abuse at Hill End Hospital

In 2017, an investigation was commenced into the allegations of beatings, mistreatment and sexual abuse, including rape suffered at the Hill End Hospital Adolescent Unit in St Albans between 1969 and 1995 by former staff members. Over 100 victims provided evidence to the investigation and over 70 members of staff were investigated.

Hill End was supposed to treat teenagers with psychiatric illnesses but became known as a “dumping ground” for children for whom the NHS and local authorities had run out of other ideas for.

Survivors told how they were sexually abused and filmed during strip searches, while children were also beaten. Survivors accounts disclosed being kept in police type cells and sedated for days at a time without reason or justification. As well as the sedation and physical abuse that accompanied it, survivors have reported being raped and sexually abused by hospital staff while being sedated or during strip searches under the pretence of checking for items they could harm themselves with.

You can find more about this topic by listening to our podcast: HJ Talks About Abuse: Institutional abuse at Hill End Hospital

 

How can we help

Whichever course of action you choose, our lawyers have many years’ experience of working with survivors of abuse, and will always have your best interests at heart. You’ll find us sensitive to your needs, expert at listening, and thoughtful and considered when explaining the options open to you.

Our team of specialist solicitors have helped many people secure sexual abuse compensation. One of our team can offer you a free consultation to give you advice on making a claim. They can meet you at home, in our office, or any location you choose – or we can talk on the phone if you prefer.

Please don't feel worried or embarrassed discussing your claim with one of us. We'll deal with your case with great care and attention, and completely confidentially, to help you achieve the justice you deserve.

 

Key contact

Alan Collins is one of the best known solicitors in the field of child abuse litigation and has acted in many high profile cases, including the Jimmy Savile and Haut de la Garenne abuse scandals. Internationally, Alan works in Australia, South East Asia, Uganda, Kenya, and California representing clients in high profile sexual abuse cases. Alan also spoke at the Third Regional Workshop on Justice for Children in East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok hosted by Unicef and HCCH (Hague Conference on Private International Law).

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Your questions answered

What counts as sexual abuse?

 

Sexual abuse includes any form of unwanted touching, as well as name calling or internet contact, or using sex as a way of causing pain or humiliation. It can be a one-off occurrence or carry on over a period of time. It might have happened earlier in your life or still be happening now. If you have suffered sexual abuse, or you suspect someone else is being sexually abused, you should report it to the police, even if it was a long time ago.

Who can I make a claim against?

 

You can make a claim for sexual abuse compensation against an abuser, but also any organisation, institution or individual that failed in their duty of care to protect you from harm.

Can I claim compensation for abuse that took place in an institution?

 

Institutions such as hospitals, care homes, schools and the church have a duty of care to make sure you are protected.

If you were sexually abused by someone in a leadership role it is likely that the organisation would be liable but each case is different and so we have to examine the evidence very carefully to ensure that there is a liability.

It may be that the case has to be brought against the individual abuser, but much will depend on the evidence and circumstances of the sexual abuse. If there has been a conviction against the individual, that is likely to assist the case.  In the absence of a conviction, we have to look for evidence that supports the case because we have to prove the allegations. Not all cases go to court many are resolved or settled, but we always have to be mindful that we have to prove the allegations, and that is where our expertise comes in.

Many institutions are insured and so the claim may be handled on its behalf by the insurers. This will depend very much on the circumstances of your case.

How do I make a claim for sexual abuse?

 

We'll help you gather the evidence you need to make a claim. To help, you should try to preserve all the evidence as best you can. Photograph injuries, print off internet logs, keep soiled clothing safe in a freezer bag, and keep details of all doctor's or hospital visits. Get the names and addresses of people who could be witnesses, including people you told about the abuse.

Will I have to go to court?

 

In most cases, you won’t. If a case had to go to court, we’d meet you in person to get your instructions, and do so in a place where you feel comfortable. You’d also have the chance to reconsider. If you wanted, we could arrange for you to give evidence by video.

Are the conversations we have private?

 

Absolutely. You have a right to confidentiality, so no one else will know what we discuss unless you tell them.

How much will it cost?

 

We can represent you on a no win, no fee basis, so there’s no worry about having to pay. We’ll explain in detail how it works.

We’ll do only what you ask us to do – you’re always in control and can stop the process at any point.

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