Susan is an older woman with severe learning disabilities. She had been taken into hospital after a fall, so that she could be cared for and recover from her injuries. When she went into hospital, Susan took her baby doll with her, which she loved as though it was her own child. However, instead of being well-treated at the hospital, Susan was subject to abuse and neglect. The team providing Susan’s care failed to understand her specific needs, and she was not assisted with washing by the hospital staff. One aspect of Susan’s treatment was particularly upsetting: she was punished when she did not do what the hospital staff asked - her doll was found on the floor with its arm severed and a chunk of its hair missing.

When her family pointed out how distressed they and Susan were by this treatment, the hospital offered to replace the doll, but denied any other wrongdoing. It was only when Susan’s family sought legal advice from human rights firm Leigh Day that the other allegations of inhumane and degrading treatment (prohibited by Article 3 under the Human Rights Act) were investigated. Thanks to the Human Rights Act, Susan was provided with the resources to enable her to recover from the cruelty that she suffered in hospital, and begin to take part again in activities that she enjoys. You can read more at our Act for UK Rights Blog here.