Patient claims she was sexually assaulted and threatened during stays at two NHS hospitals

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EXCLUSIVE: Patient claims she was sexually assaulted and threatened with rape during stays at two Scottish hospitals – and accuses NHS of ‘culture of cover up’ over horrific ordeals

  • A woman, 37, alleged she was harassed in 2016 at Crosshouse Hospital, Ayrshire
  • In 2017 at Woodlands View she claimed she was threatened with rape
  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran said it could not comment due to patient confidentiality

Concern for patient welfare has been raised at two Scottish hospitals after an anonymous source spoke out about unwanted sexual encounters, including a man masturbating and urinating on her while she slept.

The 37-year-old woman, referred to only as ‘Jane’, has accused the NHS of a ‘culture of cover up and keep quiet’, after reporting incidents to staff who allegedly refused to call the police.

Jane claims the two encounters happened a year apart from each other in 2016 at Crosshouse Hospital and at the Woodlands View facility in 2017 – both facilities in Ayrshire. 

Speaking on her experience at Crosshouse Hospital, Jane said: ‘A man came and urinated and masturbated on me in my sleep.

‘I reported it to the nurses, they said they would deal with it and they never did.

‘I was really unwell at the time and the thing that bothered me the most was the nurses were so unsupportive.

‘It wasn’t like an outrage, it was like “oh that’s happened”. They sounded used to it.’   

The Ayrshire woman felt that it was important to speak out about her experiences to prevent this from happening again. 

It was in 2017 that Jane claims she was also threatened with rape by a young man at Woodlands View in a room right next to the nurses station.

She stayed at the hospital for a month after suffering a chronic pain condition that induced depression.

Jane continued: ‘A young guy, he was about 23 or 24, walked into my room and threatened me with assault and rape. The room I was in was right next to the nurses station as well.

Jane also alleged that in 2017 she was threatened with rape by a young man at Woodlands View in a room right next to the nurses station

Jane also alleged that in 2017 she was threatened with rape by a young man at Woodlands View in a room right next to the nurses station

‘I managed to get past him to the nurses station. Their attitude was “oh we’ll just move you then”. There were lots of vulnerable women on that ward. 

‘Rather than isolate him they left him there. Rather than moving him to somewhere more secure instead they moved me and left other women with him.

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‘This was common, one woman told me he did the same thing to her in the hospital. Most of the women in the ward were attached to IVs and couldn’t go anywhere- he wasn’t.’

Jane alleged that the hospital nurses refused to call the police as it was not deemed necessary.

She added: ‘The whole of Woodlands View is a black spot for mobile phones. You really are at the mercy of the staff.’

Jane’s allegations come just two years after more than 1,000 sexual assaults were reported to have occurred in mixed-sex mental health wards.

Campaign group, For Women Scotland, said it was ‘deeply disturbed by this report’ and stressed that all patients should feel comfortable in NHS facilities.

A spokesman said: ‘It is critical that patients feel safe while in hospital, especially as many will be in a vulnerable condition. If assaults – or any crime – occurs on the hospital estate, patients need to feel confident that incidents will be taken seriously, investigated properly and appropriate action taken.’   

Scottish Conservative shadow public health minister Tess White MSP also expressed that the allegations put forward were ‘deeply concerning’.

She said: ‘These are truly horrendous and harrowing allegations. My thoughts are with the victim who has bravely come forward.

‘Our hospitals should always be safe places and it is deeply concerning if the police were not called in relation to the claims that have been made by this woman.

‘Clearly she has been hugely distressed by what reportedly happened to her and the lack of support she indicates she did not receive.’  

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NHS Ayrshire and Arran said it could not comment on the allegations given to privacy reasons.

A statement from Medical Director Dr Crawford McGuffie said: ‘Due to confidentiality reasons, NHS Ayrshire and Arran cannot comment on individual patient cases.

‘We would encourage anyone with any concerns about the care or treatment provided to contact us directly as we cannot investigate incidents which are raised anonymously.’

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