Jimmy Savile and the NHS

Published

Savile and the NHS

44

NHS investigations in total

  • 34 hospitals

  • 5 mental health units

  • 2 children's hospitals

  • 1 ambulance service, 1 hospice and 1 children's convalescent home

BBC

A total of 44 investigations have been undertaken at NHS institutions in connection with Jimmy Savile's abuse.

There have been 41 at hospitals - including five mental health units and two children's hospitals - and a further three at an ambulance service, a hospice and a children's convalescent home.

The results of investigations at 28 of the institutions were published in June last year, while a further 16 released their reports in February 2015. Some have also published updates.

A report into abuse at Stoke Mandeville Hospital found Savile had abused 63 people connected with the institution.

Victims

Savile sexually assaulted victims as young as five at NHS hospitals - and this happened during decades of unrestricted access, the reports say.

He abused patients in their beds, in corridors and also targeted staff and visitors. The reports detail harrowing accounts from alleged victims.

Stoke Mandeville Hospital

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One of the latest reports comes from Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, where Savile is believed to have assaulted 63 people - the youngest of them aged eight.

The report found:

  • Jimmy Savile was an "opportunistic predator" who abused victims between 1968-92
  • He had full and unsupervised access to all areas of the hospital for more than 20 years - even to clinical areas
  • The entertainer sexually abused staff and visitors at the hospital. This included an eight-year-old patient, a pregnant mother in her 20s, and a 19-year-old paralysed woman in a wheelchair. Almost half the victims were under 16, and the crimes included rapes
  • Savile's reputation as a "sex pest" was an "open secret" among junior staff and some middle managers
  • Ten of Savile's victims complained to staff but none of the nine informal complaints was "taken seriously or escalated to senior management"
  • Senior management at the hospital were probably never told about Savile's inappropriate behaviour or about the sexual assault claims

However, lawyer Liz Dux, who represents 44 of the Stoke Mandeville victims, said it "beggars belief" that the report had found no evidence of senior staff having been aware of the abuse.

Leeds General Infirmary

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Leeds General Infirmary (Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) has updated the results of its original investigation published last year.

The report records details of six victims and two witnesses. A former nurse, quoted in the report, said she was warned about the activities of someone she believed to have been Savile in the mortuary as long ago as 1954.

The original report released last year stated 60 people came forward to say they had been abused between 1962 and 2009. They were aged between five and 75. Thirty-three of the 60 were patients and 19 were children.

Organisational failures allowed someone "as manipulative as Savile to thrive and continue his abusive behaviour unchecked for years", the report said.

Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital

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The Broadmoor report, released last year, detailed 11 allegations of sexual abuse, six of them involving patients. Two were staff and three were children, it said.

It detailed how Savile watched and made inappropriate comments when female patients were stripped and showered naked in front of staff.

The report said the number of cases of abuse it found was likely to be an underestimate.

Lampard report: Lessons learned

image copyrightReuters

Former barrister and NHS executive Kate Lampard reviewed the evidence of how Savile was allowed to abuse victims across NHS hospitals.

Her report, published in February 2015, warned elements of the Savile story could happen again, and said there would always be people who tried to gain undue influence within institutions such as hospitals.

It also indicated "the need for us to examine safeguarding arrangements in NHS hospitals, the raising of complaints and matters of concern, and how managers and staff respond to complaints".

The investigations showed how the free access given to Savile offered him the "opportunity to commit sexual abuses on a grand scale for nearly 50 years", Ms Lampard said.

His status was "enhanced by the endorsement and encouragement he received from politicians, senior civil servants and NHS managers", she told a London press conference.

"While it might be tempting to dismiss the Savile case as wholly exceptional, a unique result of the perfect storm of circumstances, the evidence we have gathered indicates that there are many elements of the Savile story that could be repeated in future," the Lampard report concluded.

"There is always a risk of the abuse, including sexual abuse, of people in hospitals."

NHS hospital reports - in detail

This is a summary of the findings of 44 hospitals' investigations: