Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

135 Women May Have Suffered Sex Abuse by Nurse at Anorexia Clinic; Vulnerable: A Patient Treated at the Clinic Abuser: Senior Nurse David Britten

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

135 Women May Have Suffered Sex Abuse by Nurse at Anorexia Clinic; Vulnerable: A Patient Treated at the Clinic Abuser: Senior Nurse David Britten

Article excerpt

Byline: AMY IGGULDEN

AN alert has been issued to 135 women after a senior nurse sexuallyabused vulnerable patients at an NHS clinic.

David Britten preyed on women and teenagers while they were being treated foranorexia and bulimia.

He was eventually struck off after a string of complaints and an independentinvestigation was ordered.

It will report in autumn. Eight women won compensation from the health trustthat runs the clinic after claiming it failed to protect them.

But there are fears that more women could have been abused.

Central North West London NHS foundation trust has now written to all women whomay have been in contact with Britten since 1999.

It claims there are no reliable contact records for the hundreds of patientswho may have been put at risk since the Eighties.

Britten, 53, from Laughton, East Sussex, was struck off in July 2004 afterbeing found guilty of eight charges of misconduct at Peter Dally Clinic inPimlico.

As clinic manager, he groomed his "favourites" and formed a web of secretrelationships. He convinced 'He held us in victims to have sex with him behindlocked doors during therapy sessions.

The married nurse, posing as a powerful psychotherapist, had affairs withseveral women at once.

His abuse was revealed when two women in his care told each other about theirrelationships and discovered the deceit. Britten was suspended by the mentalhealth trust but resigned after eight women came forward to complain.

At the time, health bosses said dozens more women might have been victims.However, investigators been victims. However, now admit they will never knowthe full extent of the abuse and the inquiry will not establish it.

The clinic closed in 2001.

The letter, from trust chief executive Claire Murdoch, does not referspecifically to abuse but highlights concerns raised by in his grip staff andpatients about Britten's behaviour.

Central North West trust said the letter was simply to warn vulnerable formerpatients that the inquiry was about to conclude, and to offer counselling. …

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