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‘Repeated complaints’ made about Sittingbourne rapist nurse Vijay Bundhun

Health chiefs say they are deeply concerned by allegations more could have been done to stop a rapist nurse.

The Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust was responding to claims it was warned about Vijay Bundhun as far back as 2011.

It says an independent review into the 42-year-old’s conduct is ongoing and details will be released in due course.

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Vijay Bundhun was jailed for a string of sex attacks
Vijay Bundhun was jailed for a string of sex attacks

In a statement, it said its management team is working hard to get to the bottom of the psychiatric nurse’s crimes.

This comes after a former worker at Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital claimed the trust was repeatedly told of Bundhun’s actions.

As previously reported, he was jailed for life in August after being found guilty of 13 offences of rape and sexual assault against six vulnerable women.

The whistleblower said: “This person had been the subject of repeated complaints about his conduct towards women. These complaints were received by the trust, and as far as anyone can see, nothing was done.

Video: Rachel O'Donoghue reports

“When he was arrested, it was because the patient made a complaint to a member of staff that was not in the trust.

“Even after the police were involved, he wasn’t suspended, the police had to force them to suspend him. I personally think Bundhun became so brazen because it had been ignored.”

The trust has responded by saying the new management team appointed since “events several years ago” is determined to investigate. But it would not be drawn on the allegations, either to confirm or deny them.

In a statement, a spokesman said: “While these new accusations relate to events several years ago, the management team appointed to the trust since then are nevertheless appalled at and apologise for the actions of Vijay Bundhun.

Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital in Bell Road
Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital in Bell Road

“They are also deeply concerned by any allegations that more could have been done at the time to prevent what occurred.

"For these reasons, the trust has commissioned an independent external review, the findings of which will be made public and which the trust will act upon.”

It has not specified when the investigation is likely to be concluded and the results publicised.

It has emerged it took the trust seven days to suspend Bundhun after police sent officials an “urgent referral” on February 28 last year.

Bundhun’s final victim, who was sexually assaulted in her own home while her child was sitting on her lap, has branded the revelation “disgusting”.

The 23-year-old was the last woman to be assaulted by the predatory nurse after she contacted officers on the evening following the incident on February 27.

Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital
Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital

That same night, she received a hand-delivered letter through her door from the trust, which stated: “It has come to our attention you have raised concerns with your health visitor and would like to reassure you that you will continue to receive a treatment from us while this is looked into further.

“Vijay Bundhun should no longer make any contact with you and you have been reallocated [sic].”

His victim said: “It’s disgusting. They were obviously aware of what happened because they posted a letter through my door right after the complaint.

"He should’ve have been suspended immediately - how many other women did he see over that week and had the opportunity to assault?”

Kelly Mitchell has waived her anonymity in a bid to attract other potential victims to come forward
Kelly Mitchell has waived her anonymity in a bid to attract other potential victims to come forward

The trust has declined to say whether Bundhun was on restricted duties for the week before his suspension, or how many patients he came into contact with.

Now one of Bundhun’s victims has chosen to waive her right to anonymity to question why vulnerable women were left at risk of attacks.

Kelly Mitchell, of Harris Road, Sittingbourne, was sexually assaulted by the former nurse in December 2011.

She has said he was able to assault her because he was allowed to give her medical treatment while intimate parts of her were exposed and no female professionals were present.

Miss Mitchell, 35, said: “He would pull down my knickers and inject medication into my bum, it was sickening.

“There was never a nurse or a woman there. Other times I’ve had examinations of that type, the doctor would always call in a female.”

The letter sent to Bundhun's final victim
The letter sent to Bundhun's final victim

Speaking about how the trust did not suspend him from his job straight away in 2014, she said: “I feel sick - knowing this has had a devastating impact on my life. Why didn’t they suspend him immediately?

“I can’t understand how they didn’t know what was going on - how he was allowed to do what he did.”

The trust is appealing for anyone with information about wrongdoing by Thanington resident Bundhun to come forward.

A spokesman said: “Given how seriously we take our responsibilities, we have commissioned an external investigator to examine whether anything more could have been done to have prevented the appalling actions of this individual before we ceased his employment.

“While we obviously cannot pre-empt that investigation by speculating, we would again urge anyone with any concerns to contact our dedicated helpline on 01622 724139.”

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