35,000 cases of sexual misconduct or violence in NHS in five years

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Hospital corridorImage source, PA Media

By Fergus Hewison, Matt Pintus and Melanie Stewart-Smith

BBC File connected 4

More than 35,000 incidents of intersexual misconduct oregon intersexual unit - ranging from derogatory remarks to rape - were recorded connected NHS premises successful England betwixt 2017 and 2022.

Rape, intersexual battle oregon being touched without consent accounted for much than 1 successful 5 cases.

Most incidents - 58% - progressive patients abusing staff.

The information was collected by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Guardian, and shared with BBC File connected 4.

Freedom of Information requests were received from 212 NHS trusts and 37 constabulary forces successful England.

The information that came backmost from trusts showed astatine slightest 20% of incidents progressive rape, intersexual battle oregon inappropriate carnal interaction - including kissing. Other cases included intersexual harassment, stalking and abusive oregon degrading remarks. One successful 5 cases progressive patients abusing different patients - though not each trusts provided a elaborate breakdown.

Meanwhile, constabulary recorded astir 12,000 alleged intersexual crimes connected NHS premises successful the aforesaid clip play - including 180 cases of rape of children nether 16, with 4 children nether 16 being gang-raped.

One erstwhile diligent told File connected 4 however she had been sexually assaulted by a antheral diligent portion she had been showering successful a hospital.

"The doorway flew unfastened and determination was a antheral successful the doorway," said Mary (not her existent name). "I screamed arsenic I had nary apparel on. He ran towards maine and shouted 'I'll person immoderate of that'."

When the antheral grabbed her arm, she explained, she "managed to elbow him and propulsion him away".

"I was trying to tally and screen myself with my hands and parts of my assemblage due to the fact that there's everybody staring."

Mary, present successful her aboriginal 80s, had been admitted to the infirmary aft suffering a bosom onslaught successful 2020.

Her attacker had been sitting successful a seat extracurricular the ablution room.

The incidental was reported to the constabulary but the unit progressive said determination wasn't capable grounds to proceed with a prosecution.

An NHS spokesperson has told the BBC that each NHS organisations indispensable person robust measures successful spot to guarantee contiguous enactment is taken successful immoderate intersexual cases reported to them.

But the BMJ and Guardian probe recovered that less than 1 successful 10 NHS trusts has a dedicated argumentation to woody with intersexual battle and harassment - and that managers are besides nary longer obliged to study maltreatment of unit to a cardinal database.


Image caption,

"I'm proceeding clip and clip again, this has happened to truthful galore different people," says Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper

Mary says she wasn't fixed immoderate enactment by the infirmary aft the onslaught - and the NHS spot progressive has admitted to File connected 4 that much should person been done.

The Liberal Democrats' wellness spokeswoman Daisy Cooper MP is calling for a caller intersexual complaints strategy to support patients, visitors and staff. She says Mary's communicative is an illustration of the "absolutely unacceptable" fig of intersexual attacks happening successful NHS hospitals crossed the UK.

"I'm proceeding clip and clip again, this has happened to truthful galore different people.

"There is not a simple, intelligibly signposted mode for radical to marque a ailment of a intersexual quality and for it to beryllium treated with respect and beryllium treated efficiently."

Consultant Philippa Jackson told File connected 4 she had been sexually assaulted by a elder NHS workfellow erstwhile moving arsenic a inferior doctor.

"He rubbed himself against my thigh, helium past made a remark astir his erection," she said.

"Then helium kissed maine connected the bottommost of my cervix and again I felt precise uncomfortable."

Image caption,

Consultant Philippa Jackson: "I was asked a bid of questions astir whether oregon not I had led him on"

When Ms Jackson made a ceremonial ailment astir the individual, she says she was quizzed by elder managers astatine the hospital.

"I was asked a bid of questions astir whether oregon not I had led him on, essentially, whether oregon not I was being flirtatious," she says.

No enactment was taken against the man, and Ms Jackson says she was told the incidental hadn't been witnessed and could not beryllium proved - truthful determination was nary lawsuit to answer.

Although much than 4,000 NHS unit were accused of rape, intersexual assault, harassment, stalking, oregon abusive remarks towards different unit oregon patients successful 2017-22, the BMJ and Guardian probe recovered that lone 576 person faced disciplinary action.

In a statement, the Department of Health and Social Care said: "The wellness and societal attraction caput is moving intimately with the NHS and precocious convened an urgent gathering with NHS leaders to sermon however to basal retired this vile behaviour and guarantee services are ever harmless for unit and patients."

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