Sexual assault by the people who are meant to protect patients

A paediatric haematologist is serving a lengthy jail sentence for sexually abusing children in his care as young as eight.

Dr Myles Bradbury was able to avoid detection thanks to an “inadequate” chaperone policy at Addenbrooke’s hospital. He admitted abusing 18 victims, some of whom were suffering from cancer and leukaemia, as well as making more than 16,000 indecent images of children.

The Judge described his crimes as “one of the worst forms of sexual abuse imaginable”. His sentence was 22 years, later reduced to 16 years, with an additional six years on licence.

In 2015, a report into whether Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust could have prevented or identified Bradbury’s offending, found that although staff did not suspect Bradbury of “unprofessional, let alone criminal behaviour”, he was able to repeatedly commit the offences by getting around an unclear and not fully initiated chaperone system.

The report states: “[Bradbury] took advantage of the chaperone policy by carrying out criminal intimate examinations on patients behind the curtain with their family member in the room but on the other side of the curtain.

“The chaperone policy would have put some obstacles in his way if it had been applied, as he would not have examined children in the absence of their parents and he would have had to tell the child what he was planning to do. Parents, if they had heard this, would have been more aware of what was happening and more likely to be concerned.

“However, the lack of any specific provision for children, the lack of any reference to transition arrangements, and the apparent lack of information to patients and families about the chaperone policy, made it easy for Dr Bradbury to get around the protection it offered.”

Responding to the report, David Wherrett, acting chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I want to say sorry again to our patients and families who placed their trust in Myles Bradbury during their treatment here, and instead became victims of his cold and calculating abuse.

“The report will help shape our approach to chaperoning and the management of adolescent patients transitioning into adult care, helping us put the most robust and workable practices in place. It also sets out the importance of communicating more clearly on these issues with our patients, families and staff to build a proactive and positive culture of challenge into our services.”

It has since emerged that Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has paid more than £600,000 in compensation to some of Bradbury’s victims.

If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of this type of abuse, we have vast experience of dealing with these cases and are currently speaking with others who have been affected by the same or similar tragic situations.

If you would like to speak with sensitive and caring lawyers who will represent your interest at the highest level, please get in touch with Karen Cathcart who is a lawyer within the Clinical Negligence Department on 0207 880 4383 or e-mail her at

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