The BBC has recently reported on child abuse claims made against a Shropshire GP who died 17 years ago. Hospitals, GP surgeries and medical centres are places upon which we all rely, often at times of weakness or vulnerability, when seeking medical advice to improve our health and well-being. We place our trust and belief in the hands of skilled and professionally regulated medical advisers. Unfortunately, this trust can be breached.
If you have suffered recent or historic physical, emotional or sexual abuse by a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Pursuing a claim for compensation could assist you obtain justice as well as long-term specialist care to help you in your recovery.
Five child abuse claims against a GP
The article reported by the BBC concerned allegations of child abuse at a surgery in Whitchurch in the 1970s. One alleged victim told the BBC he felt “dirty and embarrassed” after being regularly assaulted at the surgery. “Tom” (not his real name) said the abuse was carried out between the ages of nine and thirteen, initially when his mother was in the room and later when he was alone.
Tom said it had taken 40 years to be able to talk about what happened but has now spoken out because he wants others to come forward. Tom describes alleged offences being carried out initially when his mother was present in the room and he was taken behind an old heavy hospital type screen. He said things moved on “systematically” and got “more intense” once he was examined on his own with his mother outside the room.
Tom commented that he “didn’t know any different. I thought that’s how doctors are, that’s what doctors do, and it was only when it stopped happening that I thought, I started to wonder.”
A second alleged male victim has also spoken out claiming he was abused by the same GP during the same era, from the age of 13 until 18. He claims he buried what happened for many years believing he was responsible and only talked about it for the first time five years ago during counselling.
The child abuse allegations against the GP first appeared in the local Whitchurch press. Since the initial publication of the story, a further three people have come forward claiming they were sexually abused by the same GP, as a boy, girl and young woman.
Not your fault
Child abuse is never the fault of the child. We recognise and understand that many people who were abused as a child do not speak out about the abuse until much later in life. Our sensitive and caring specialist child abuse lawyers comprehend the feelings and anxieties referred to by Tom above and other victims of abuse and will handle your matter with the upmost respect and care. We can support you every step of the way towards justice, healing and recovery.
Abuse of children in healthcare institutions
The high-profile, widely reported scale of Jimmy Savile’s sexual abuse shocked the nation. Reportedly, he was given free rein at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Leeds where he sexually abused children. The catalogue of abuse has raised serious concerns about the NHS’s failure to protect patients, especially children, from the paedophile.
Sadly these claims are not just historic. Patients attending medical facilities place complete faith and trust in the health care professionals treating them. It is rare, but sadly there are instances from time to time when that bond of trust is broken by the very worst kind of behaviour. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or even ritual.
Claiming for compensation for abuse in a healthcare institution
You can make a claim for child abuse compensation against any organisation, institution or individual that breached their duty of care to protect you from harm.
Institutions such as hospitals, GP surgeries and other medical centres, owe a duty of care to patients to make sure they are protected whilst under their care. If you were abused whilst under the care of an institution, you may have a claim for compensation against the organisation responsible for that institution, which is likely in medical cases to be the NHS.
The Daily Mail has reported that the NHS has paid out £12million to patients sexually abused in hospitals, GP surgeries and dental practices in the last two decades.  More than 400 claims have been made against NHS workers since 1996 with additional cases being made against non-clinical NHS staff.
At IBB we have experienced child abuse lawyers who act for children who have been victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. We also act for adults who were victims of historic abuse. Our dedicated and compassionate lawyers understand that discussing abuse is a painful process. Our expert lawyers will work with you sensitively, compassionately and in complete confidence.
IBB can provide you with a free initial consultation to discuss your case and the possibility of claiming compensation. We offer a no-win-no-fee arrangement so there is no financial risk if you are not successful.
IBB’s child abuse and personal injury team is led by Malcolm Underhill and has the expertise and knowledge to advise and represent you in relation to a child abuse claim. Please contact us on 0333 123 9099, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our on-line contact form.