From The Independent: “Tens of thousands of sexual assaults and incidents have been reported in NHS-run mental health hospitals as a ‘national scandal‘ of sexual abuse of patients on psychiatric wards can be revealed.
Almost 20,000 reports of sexual incidents in the last five years have been made in more than half of NHS mental health trusts, according to exclusive data uncovered in a joint investigation and podcast by The Independent and Sky News.
The shocking findings, triggered by one woman’s dramatic story of escape following a sexual assault in hospital revealed in a podcast, Patient 11, show NHS trusts are failing to report the majority of incidents to the police and are not meeting vital standards designed to protect the UK’s most vulnerable patients from sexual harm.
. . . Dr Lade Smith, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, called the findings ‘horrendous,’ while shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said it was a ‘wake-up call’ for the government.
. . . Mr Streeting said: ‘It will appall every decent person that these horrific crimes were committed against patients at their most vulnerable. The fact these have taken place in the NHS is chilling.
‘Very serious questions must urgently be asked of hospital leaders, who have to explain why the vast majority of these incidents were kept from the police.”
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