A victim reveals details of horrific abuse he suffered for six weeks at Hill End Hospital Adolescent Unit in St Albans, when he was just 11 years old.
The unit was supposed to treat teenagers with psychiatric illnesses, but by the time the victim was admitted it had become what he called a “dumping ground for children for whom the NHS and local authorities had run out of other ideas.”
The victim disclosed that, “We were beaten, we were punched, we were put in headlocks, and we had our heads rammed into doors. I was one of the lucky ones because I wasn’t raped, but I know of other people who were.”
He described the abuse starting on the first night of his six week stay at the hospital. He remembers being dragged by three men into a small room that resembled a prison cell. He then remembers having an injection to put him to sleep. “Four, five days a week I was sedated. The problem was the things they’d sedate you for – if you were talking to another one of the children and a member of staff couldn’t quite hear what you said, that was enough for them to be ‘concerned’ enough that you’d need sedating.”
Some of the patients” were locked in the cell, ordered to drink a liquid sedative and then forcibly injected if they refused” explained the victim.
Many other survivors have reported that they were raped and sexually abused by the staff at the hospital and were frequently sedated or strip searched. The victim was told his behaviour would be assessed when he was admitted, but he never underwent any tests or saw a result whilst he was admitted. None of the medication the victim was prescribed was ever recorded with the victim’s GP.
Hertfordshire police have launched an investigation named Operation Meadow into Hill End Hospital. The hospital closed in 1995 and was converted into a housing estate. The investigation is looking at accusations of abuse starting from as far back as 1969. The police are appealing for victims to come forward with any information or allegations they may have.
If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like to speak to one of our highly qualified abuse team members in confidence, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our highly skilled abuse team will advice you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are highly experienced in this area. They are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these types of sensitive cases. Please contact the abuse team on 0800 9555 094.