Jimmy Savile scandal: Kate Lampard to lead NHS investigation

Jimmy Savile
Image caption Sir Jimmy Savile died last October aged 84

The Department of Health is to appoint a former barrister to oversee its investigation into Sir Jimmy Savile, the prime minister's spokesman said.

He said Kate Lampard would "ensure rigour and consistency" in probes at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary, Broadmoor and inside the Department of Health (DoH).

Police say Savile, who rose to fame in the 60s, may have sexually abused 60 people over a period of six decades.

The BBC is also holding two inquiries.

Savile, who presented Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It and was a former Radio 1 DJ, died last October aged 84.

Scotland Yard, which is co-ordinating the investigation into Savile's alleged offences, has said it is following up 340 lines of inquiry.

Police believe the alleged offences could date from 1959 to 2006.

'Passed to police'

On the hospitals' probe, the PM's spokesman said that Ms Lampard, the former deputy chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, had been appointed by the DoH to keep a check on the three investigations.

The NHS investigation comes amid growing allegations that Savile sexually abused children at the three hospitals which he had raised funds for.

The DoH had already said it would investigate its own conduct in appointing Savile to lead a "taskforce" overseeing the management of high-security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor in 1988.

It comes after the Sun newspaper said Savile assaulted a 17-year-old patient during a visit as a hospital fundraiser in the 1970s.

A DoH spokesman said: "The health secretary has appointed Kate Lampard - a former practising barrister and former deputy chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service - to oversee the Department of Health's, and three NHS Trusts' input into the ongoing inquiries relating to Jimmy Savile's involvement with the NHS.

"She will provide oversight of the Stoke Mandeville, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor inquiries, as well as the Department of Health's inquiries into the appointment and role Savile held at Broadmoor Hospital.

"All relevant information from these inquiries will be passed to the police."

'Get to truth'

Meanwhile, the BBC has appointed former Appeal Court judge Dame Janet Smith and ex-Sky News boss Nick Pollard to lead its inquiries.

Dame Janet will look into the culture and practices of the BBC during the years Savile worked there.

Mr Pollard will examine Newsnight's shelving of an investigation into why police dropped a sexual abuse probe.

Earlier, Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman reiterated her party's calls for an independent inquiry into all of the allegations against Savile.

"I think what we need to do is get to the truth," she told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme.

"Clearly something terrible went on for many years across a number of institutions and I think we need to learn the lessons."

She said it was "a problem" that there were a number of different inquiries at different institutions because "we are looking at one man who manipulated the whole system".

"It's the government's responsibility to say this is very serious and has to be investigated independently," she said.

"The perpetrator is dead but the institutions need to learn the lessons of why this could go on for so long, and that needs one independent inquiry."

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