Heavy accusations against Berlin Charité

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After the abuse scandal, massive criticism of the management of the Berlin Charité

After the abuse scandal at the Berlin Charité, politicians from various parties expressed massive criticism of the hospital's information management and questioned the structures of personnel management. Although the Charité announced on Friday that it would "strongly support the swift and transparent clarification of the unresolved issues and cooperate closely with the investigating authorities", the critics believe that this is no excuse for the past failures.

After a 16-year-old patient raised charges of sexual abuse against a Berlin Charité nurse, the suspect was suspended and prosecution initiated an investigation. On Wednesday last week, the caregiver is said to have perpetrated on the girl at the Charité rescue center at the Virchow campus. In retrospect, it turned out that this was apparently not the nurse's only assault. The accused had apparently taken advantage of the situation of needy patients several times and had sexually assaulted them. The Berlin patient representative Karin Stötzner expressed massive criticism of the hospital management and its personnel management against the radio station "radioBERLIN 88.8". There was talk of a lack of leadership skills, although according to the patient representative, it was particularly frightening "that there was obviously a knowledge that this nurse had already become conspicuous in this regard."

Covering up abuse at the Berlin Charité? The fact that a nurse abuses an underage patient at the rescue center is in itself an incredible scandal. The fact that comparable shameful acts were apparently carried out by the same nurse before the current case and that this was supposed to be on record at the clinic as well as at the authorities because of his offenses gives the current events a particularly explosive effect. All parties in the Berlin Senate were shocked and called for comprehensive information. The CDU general secretary Kai Wegner accused the hospital of covering up abuse cases for years. Instead of filing a complaint, only the in-house legal department was involved, according to the politician. This was a wrong signal. The clinic management was asked to “report all abuse cases and possibly other crimes immediately”.

Comprehensive clarification of the abuse scandal required The Berlin science senator Sandra Scheeres (SPD) requested a written report from the Charité clinic management by Monday, which discloses the exact procedures in the current abuse scandal. The Greens also expressed clear criticism of the Charité's crisis management and questioned the structures with which Europe's largest university clinic is managed. The clinic's management has since been working to limit the damage and announced in a press release on Friday that “an external panel of experts has been appointed to investigate the causes that have previously been the unsolved cases of abuse at the Charité The first meeting of the expert committee will take place next Monday, which will include Julia von Weiler (child protection association "Innocence in Danger") and Udo Nagel (ex-senator from Hamburg), in addition to the former Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries (SPD). Sylvester von Bismarck (pediatric surgeon), Günther Brenzel (nursing expert) and Sigrid Richter-Unger (head of the advice center "Kind im Zentrum"). The committee should also review internal structures and processes.

Improved advice, prevention and communication In addition, the Charité offers those affected, concerned parents, patients and employees a telephone hotline between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Psychological specialists are available on 030 450 550 500. The hotline is being well received and ten calls have been received by Thursday evening, of which the investigation needs to be investigated, the clinic reports Berlin Charité counter. In the interest of prevention, the "Child in the Center" initiative will now also take on an advisory role for women, children and adolescent medicine staff at the Berlin Charité, according to the current announcement. The initiative offers talks and training and supports the development of a prevention concept and the creation of appropriate structures to contribute to a more open communication culture. However, the clinic management also had to admit deficits in communication. CEO Karl Max Einhäupl and medical director Ulrich Frei apparently knew about it just two days after the current incident, even though they initially said they had only been informed about it this week on Tuesday. (fp)

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