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.

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Historic Physical and Sexual Abuse

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.

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.

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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