We now know that what we want and deserve, is not what we will get. What we wanted, and needed, was Truth, Accountability, and Justice. We have always felt that the story of how a nurse groomed a vulnerable mentally ill young woman in an NHS Hospital into having sex on hospital premises, and who then concealed a crisis pregnancy and arranged an abortion, is very much in the Public Interest.
What happened to Alison in the NHS Hospital in Carlisle was not known at the time of the original inquest into her death, a new inquest would have been our last opportunity to get the facts out in the open. In 2001, the previous coroner acknowledged that what happened to Alison would have had a significant impact on her state of mind and played a part in what unfolded. For reasons we are unsure of, the present coroner does not think what happened to Alison would have impacted her state of mind; go figure?
We had hoped to secure a fresh inquest so that we could obtain as much truth as possible about the events contributing to Alison’s state of mind when she took her life. Unfortunately, the door to this option has also now been closed to us.
Former patients and staff have told us that sex with patients was commonplace and that the rape of patients by nurses occurred in Garlands Hospital. Alison left behind a handwritten note which refers to one such incident of rape, the patient was told she could complain all she wanted but that nobody would believe her. We know what happened to Alison was not an isolated incident. In a just world, Cumbria Police and the Crown Prosecution Service would fully explore what happened and get to the bottom of what was being done to vulnerable mental health patients under the noses of NHS staff.
We would also like independent reviews of both the investigations Cumbria Police undertook in 2001 and 2016. These should clarify the role of the former Senior Police Commander who was on the board of the local NHS at the time of the first investigation and seek to establish what happened to the evidence we gave Cumbria Police that they conveniently lost. We think the Police had an implicit national policy of not intervening in cases of abuse in NHS Hospitals.
We would like the role of Executives from Cumbria NHS to be explored, including Nigel Woodcock and Shirley Chipperfield. Why did they suddenly lose Alison’s medical records and why didn’t they share the evidence we gave them with Cumbria Police, including a copy of the pregnancy termination certificate? Was there a concerted effort to protect the recently damaged reputation of the NHS Trust by making sure this evidence never reached the CPS? We would also like the role of Alison’s consultant psychiatrist Dr. Singh to be investigated, he knew what was going on and deliberately withheld information from Alison’s records. And we would like to establish who the managers were at Garlands in 1988 that ignored the warnings of staff who told them what was happening; we think they have questions to answer.
We want to know why Scott-Buccleuch was able to continue in Hospital Radio at another NHS Hospital under the same HR Director, Shirley Chipperfield, who knew what he had done when he was a Mental Health Nurse at the Garlands.
We would like to know if the Hebron Church in Carlisle was aware of what Scott-Buccleuch had done. He held a position of responsibility at the Church, including dealing with young adults for many years. What did they know and do they have safeguarding processes in place?
The nurse who broke the law has no desire to acknowledge or understand the damage he has caused. He had successfully hidden his crimes for almost thirty years before being forced to admit them to the Police in 2017. Using a vulnerable mental health patient for sex and covering his tracks by arranging an abortion is despicable, illegal, immoral, harmful, selfish, unethical, and utterly unacceptable. Though we do not want harm to come to him, we believe he should be held accountable for what he did and we have asked Cumbria Police for restorative justice; a request that has been ignored. And though he is responsible for his actions and entirely culpable, it should be noted that other people knew what was going on; they are also accountable.