The NHS has been criticised for sending vulnerable patients to a children’s hospital despite receiving reports of more than 1,600 “sexual safety incidents” at the 59-bed unit.
A series of investigations by The Independent have exposed allegations of systemic abuse across a group of children’s hospitals run by the former Huntercombe Group. The latest revealed that a total of 1,643 “sexual safety incidents” had been reported in four years at its hospital in Maidenhead – accounting for more than half of all sex-related investigations reported in the 209 children’s mental health units across the country since 2019.
Despite the majority of these reports being made prior to 2022-23, the NHS did not take any action and only stopped using the hospital, also known as Taplow Manor, this year.
Gemma Byrne, head of health policy and campaigns at Mind, said in response to The Independent report on sexual incidents: “These horrific reports reveal the systemic scale of abuse and neglect in inpatient mental health settings. Even when patients bravely came forward to share their stories, some of which took place more than 10 years ago, young people continued to be sent to a unit which was known to have catastrophic failings in physical and sexual safety.”
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Source: The Independent, 18 April 2023