Trust forms part of the integral professional relationship between doctors and patients. When that trust is broken, the results can leave patients feeling physically and emotionally abused. Very rarely, medical staff overstep the boundaries of appropriate physical contact with their patients, leading to criminal cases for assault and civil claims for damages.
Each year, a handful of doctors are reported and charged by the police with physical or indecent assault. Similarly, the regulatory bodies (eg General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)) will investigate fitness to practice due to sexually motivated conduct towards patients. Patients have the right to openly discuss personal and private issues with their doctor or nurse without feeling at risk of unwarranted or unreciprocated sexual advances. GMC guidance states that patients should be offered a chaperone for intimate examinations and patients are entitled to request one. This is to protect both the medical professional and the patient, and ensure respect and boundaries are upheld at all times.
Sexual misconduct can occur in many different forms, such as;
• Inappropriate relationships with vulnerable patients
• Sexually motivated or suggestive behaviour
• Intimate or inappropriate body contact
• Unnecessary extended examinations
• Inappropriate breast or internal examinations
• Failure to obtain consent before carrying out a physical examination
Thankfully, these types of claims are rare, but when they occur, victims can be left feeling helpless and scared to speak up. It can be difficult coming to terms with abuse by a professional, but we can help.
The Medical Accident Group has experience in dealing with these types of claims, and our specialist female solicitors will help you come to terms with what has happened. We will help you rebuild your life and confidence, and together, ensure that no one else becomes a victim.