Released On 27th Oct 2015
Did Addenbrookes Hospital overlook signs that Dr Bradbury was abusing patients?
An independent report prepared by Verita, a company commissioned by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust to investigate the actions of Dr Bradbury, has now been published. Dr Bradbury, who was employed by Addenbrookes, was arrested in December 2013 after allegations of childhood sexual abuse first came to light on 27th November 2013. He joined the Hospital in 2007 as a locum consultant before taking up as a post as a permanent paediatric haematologist. In 2005, Bradbury had already purchased a potentially indecent video from Canada which contained naked images, including children, which the Canadian police did not classify as indecent at that time. Nonetheless the Canadian authorities notified their British counterparts in July 2012 but no action was taken by the authorities for another 16 months.
Bradbury was sentenced in December 2014 after pleading guilty to 25 sexual offences against 18 boys in his care, together with charges of voyeurism and possession of indecent images. He was initially sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment but on appeal, the sentence was restructured to 16 years imprisonment and 6 years on licence. The hospital believe there may be as many as 800 potential victims of Bradbury’s abuse. Some of those victims, however, have since passed away through terminal illness.
The findings of the Verita report are yet another blow for the hospital which has recently been in the news for other reasons. Dr Keith McNeil, who was appointed Addenbrookes Chief Executive in November 2012, quit his role a week before an inspection report into standards prepared by the Care Quality Commission was published on 22 September 2015. The hospital was placed in special measures after that report rated the hospital as `inadequate’. Inspectors identified staff shortages and large numbers of routine operations being cancelled. However, staff were hard working and passionate throughout the trust and were therefore rated as `outstanding’ for caring.
This result, must however, be considered in the light of the findings of the Verita report. The report concluded that Dr Bradbury was able to abuse vulnerable children as the chaperone policy at the hospital was weak. An adult was expected to accompany a child to every appointment, except when the child turned 14, they could then request a private discussion with the doctor with no adult present. However, the hospital’s chaperone policy required either a family member or a professional chaperone to accompany a patient for any `intimate’ examination. Dr Bradbury was able to manipulate both the chaperone policy and the flexible appointment arrangements to commit his offences. It would appear Bradbury was able to repeatedly breach these policies both by seeing children under 14 alone and carrying out intimate examinations unaccompanied. It seems Bradbury also undertook examinations of much younger children alone behind a curtain, but with a family member in the room on the other side of the curtain. Bradbury's modus was to undertake unecessary genital examinations of his patients, as he was a trusted hospital doctor, the children accepted the abuse as part of the examination process.
Bradbury often gave out his mobile number and arranged to see some patients unnecessarily and much more regularly than their treatment required. Since he was making his appointments direct with patients, the hospital staff were unaware of how often he was seeing some patients. He failed to maintain professional boundaries with his patients and their families which indicated over-involvement.
It was noted that Bradbury seemed reluctant to have medical students with him when he saw patients and made the excuse that he was too busy.
Verita have made a number of recommendations to improve systems for appointments and its chaperone policy.
Robsonshaw solicitors are representing a number of victims of Dr Myles Bradbury. Parents involved in those cases described him as charming and plausible and someone they trusted with the care of their children. It appears Bradbury successfully manipulated the systems at the hospital to further his interests and he was undetected for a number of years. It is yet another example of how a devious paedophile successfully targeted children in his care and hoodwinked those who worked with him. They must feel equally betrayed by his actions.
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