Claims for Child Sex Abuse at Aston Hall Hospital

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Tamsin Johns Chapman Profile image
Tamsin Johns-Chapman

Abuse Claims Solicitor

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Our team of expert Child Abuse Solicitors would be interested to speak with survivors of abuse at Aston Hall Hospital in Derbyshire, as former patients are now claiming compensation from the Department of Health.

If you or a loved one are a survivor of physical or sexual abuse at Aston Hall Hospital, our specialist Child Abuse Solicitors can help you. Ask about Legal Aid or if we can deal with your case on a No Win, No Fee basis. If we take on your case, we will strive to get you the justice you deserve.

Aston Hall Hospital, located in Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire was originally opened as a psychiatric hospital for people detained under the Mental Deficiency Act in 1913. It had a reputation as a treatment centre for children who were seen as ‘delinquent’, with two wards specifically for children.

Education was provided on the wards from as early as 1956, with a Special School operating on site between 1965 and 1985. Children were sent to the hospital from all over the country and were frequently sent to Aston Hall Hospital from Children’s Homes. By the time the hospital closed in 2004, it was a facility solely for adults.

Historic Physical and Sexual Abuse

Dr Kenneth Milner was employed at Aston Hall Hospital between 1947 and 1975 and was the Medical Superintendent. He practised ‘narco-analysis’ on child patients and the treatment was supposed to unlock previous abuse and trauma to help understand and address the patient’s behavioural difficulties. The practice involved child patients being injected with a sedative called Sodium Amytal, sometimes referred to as “Truth Serum”.

Initial concerns regarding treatment of children at Aston Hall Hospital came to light in June 2011, with concerns being passed from Suffolk Police to Derbyshire Constabulary. Allegations of sexual abuse were disclosed in 2014. By 2015, six complainants had contacted the Police, the number of complainants rose and Operation Thalia was launched by Derbyshire Constabulary in February 2016. More than 105 former patients have now come forward.

Allegations of sexual abuse made by the former child patients of Aston Hall Hospital recount being injected and waking up with sore genitals, whilst others recalled being sexually abused, whilst sedated.

It’s unknown how many treatments were given, as every patient was subjected to varying amounts of treatments over the course of their stay. If you were given this treatment, even if it was the once, you may be eligible for compensation.

The Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board commissioned an Independent Assurance Report, which was published in July 2018, to give assurance and advice, as well as look at the many changes that have occurred over the years to protect children from abuse.

Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Board “accept that allegations of abuse described by those people who lived at Aston Hall during their childhoods and, as adults, have shared their concerns, are genuine”, but the report was not intended to make judgments on what happened or what was done by whom.

It’s recognised in the report that “Dr Milner was a respected experienced consultant psychiatrist”, with “great power, control and influence at Aston Hall and his methods and instructions went unchallenged as far as can be ascertained”.

Although Dr Milner is now deceased and no criminal action can be taken against him personally for the abuse, Derbyshire Constabulary are still investigating allegations of non-recent abuse at Aston Hall Hospital.

Several former patients at Aston Hall Hospital are now claiming compensation from the Department of Health. If you are a survivor of abuse at the institution, contact our highly specialised Child Abuse Solicitors to see how we can help you.

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What is Sodium Amytal?

Dr Kenneth Milner subjected his patients to psychotherapy that is known as ‘narco-analysis’. Narco-analysis is where the patient is induced into a sleep-like state, to help them release any suppressed feelings or memories.

Patients were injected with strong drugs, such as Sodium Amytal, during these treatments. This treatment was carried out without any authorisation or consent and has been deemed completely unsuitable for any child. It has been reported that patients were as young as ten years old when they experienced this ‘treatment’.

What is a Redress Scheme?

Redress Schemes are an alternative way of seeking compensation relating to the abuse that you suffered. Not only may you receive some compensation, but the schemes often take the opportunity to apologise for what happened to you. The scheme may also offer to pay for your counselling costs.

Civil claims can often a very difficult process. Redress Schemes are designed to be much more straightforward and have a simpler process.

If you’re not sure on which route you should take, we can help offer advice and guidance. You may also be able to run a civil claim case alongside a claim through a Redress Scheme. We can help to clarify your options for you, so you know exactly what to expect.

Information about the Redress Scheme

Compensation will be given based on a tariff, which ranges between £8,000 - £50,000. To be eligible for compensation, you will need to prove that you were admitted into Aston Hall and that you were treated with narco-analysis at least once while you were there.

The tariff is as follows:

  • 1 treatment of Sodium Amytal - £8,000
  • 2-5 treatments - £2,500 per extra treatment
  • 6-15 treatments - £1,500 per treatment
  • 16+ treatments - £1,000 per treatment

For example, if you were given 4 treatments of Sodium Amytal, you will receive an initial payment of £8,000, followed by an additional £7,500.

While compensation will not change what happened to you or make it right, our compassionate team will work at helping you get the compensation you deserve to allow you to seek the support that you need.

How Do I Apply to the Aston Hall Redress Scheme?

Before you complete your application, you should read the terms and conditions in full. This will outline everything that you need to know and what you’re agreeing to by applying.

Your application will usually require supportive evidence, such as medical records or witness statements.

Once you have provided all the evidence that is required and completed the application in full, you may receive an offer of compensation. It is then up to you as to whether you wish to accept the offer or reject it.

If you disagree with the decision, some Redress Schemes have the option to appeal the outcome. But you may benefit from seeking legal advice at this time, so you can get independent advice on whether the offer is reasonable.

Is There a Time Limit?

Every Redress Scheme has its own pre-determined cut-off date. While some Schemes have a fixed date in mind, others have left the door completely open for the foreseeable future.

If you’re not sure how long you have to make your claim for compensation, we can help. Contact our Child Abuse Solicitors to discuss your case and we can offer advice on your unique claim.

How Simpson Millar Can Help

Here at Simpson Millar, we have extensive experience with helping people just like you get the compensation that they deserve. We have helped people to claim compensation under a variety of Redress Schemes, including the Aston Hall Scheme, Manchester Football Club Scheme, and more.

Our lawyers are familiar with the reports regarding the treatments given at Aston Hall during the 60s and 70s, and we’ve secured many positive outcomes, so we are fully equipped to take firm action on your behalf.

If you were a patient at Aston Hall and you experienced abuse of this nature, and you would like to speak with one of our solicitors, please get in touch today. We can offer some advice on pursuing your claim for compensation and provide any support that you may need.

Our Child Abuse Solicitors will be with you every step of the way, until you are satisfied with the outcome. We will make sure to explain everything to you in plain English, rather than legal jargon, so you understand exactly what’s going on.

If you’re ever unsure about any step of the application process, please let our expert team know, as we will endeavour to make the process as simple as we can.

References: (2022). Redress schemes explained by our abuse solicitors. [online] Available at:

Derby City Council and related partners (2019). Derby Safeguarding Children Partnership. [online] Available at:

Tamsin Johns Chapman Profile image

Tamsin Johns-Chapman

Abuse Claims Solicitor

Areas of Expertise:
Abuse Claims

Tamsin's academic journey started at the University of Liverpool where she studied for her degree in Law. She then advanced her studies by completing the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law (currently known as the University of Law) in Chester.

Her professional journey began with a specialist abuse firm, where she underwent training and qualified as a Solicitor in 2011. Broadening her expertise, Tamsin spent some time at a firm specialising in criminal injuries compensation claims. For over five years, she has been a part of the Simpson Millar team, dedicating her efforts to representing victims and survivors of abuse in various types of claims.

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