TV show uncovers doctor-patient sexual relations at psych hospital

The EO television programme Dit is de Dag Onderzoek has uncovered that at least 18 staff members of TBS clinics had sexual relations with patients, or at least crossed the line of professionalism. 

In the show, which will air today, investigators discovered that psychiatric hospitals in 2013 have possibly reported seven of these types of relations. The clinics are under obligation to declare such relations at the inspection of the Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ).

At the request of the EO, the inspection inventoried how many declarations of sexual misconduct by staff have been reported to the TBS clinics in the last five years. According to the IGZ, there are 18 reports.

The clinics, in a collective response, admit that there have been more incidents, but that "no unwarranted sexual behavior could be determined" and that these did not therefore need to be reported. This is the reason why these cases aren't reported to the IGZ, according to the clinics.

The EO programme independently researched relations inside the clinics. They spoke with fifteen specialized psychiatric clinic lawyers, and more than ten staff members and psychiatric patients. From the research, it seems that there were seven relations in the clinics Veldzicht in Balkbrug and the Rooyse Wissel in Venray, which were not reported to the IGZ.

State secretary Fred Teeven (Security and Justice) is confident that the clinics deliver reports properly, if it is really clear that a member of staff is having relations with a patient. He emphasizes that the IGZ and the Public Prosecution Service must always be informed. Teeven warns that in these kinds of relations, the danger of influencing behavior reports and treatment is in danger. A staff member could be easily charmed.

Last year, the Oostvarderskliniek in Almere witnessed a sexual relationship between occupational therapist and a serial rapist. The therapist smuggled phones, among other objects, into the clinic for the patient. In another case at the same clinic, a psychotic drug addict was at liberty to read behavior reports of his fellow patients because of his relation with a psychologist. Both therapists were fired, the story reveals.

TBS clinics are mandatory detention clinics in which criminals are placed, who have been diagnosed as terbeschikkinggesteld. TBS is a legislation in the Dutch criminal law which a judge can rule against a criminal suspect, if the judge is convinced that the suspect was suffering from insufficient development or morbid impairment to mental capacity. It means a minimal sentence of five years.