Jimmy Savile NHS patient sex abuse inquiry to be extended to ‘other hospitals’

Health Secretary says NHS inquiry to be delayed as up to 30 more sites to be investigated

An NHS investigation into alleged sexual abuse carried out by the late Jimmy Savile is to be widened with his conduct at hospitals not previously linked to wrongdoing to be examined for the first time.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said an eagerly-awaited inquiry into what happened at some of the country’s best known medical institutions, which were regularly visited by the former DJ during for four decades, was now likely to be delayed.

Among the known allegations against the Jim’ll Fix It star – now considered to be Britain’s most prolific sex offender - are that he molested a dying child and assaulted patients at secure psychiatric units.

Former barrister Kate Lampard has been examining activities centring on Savile’s activities at Stoke Mandeville and Leeds General Infirmary where 38 of the suspected offences occurred but also at Broadmoor and 10 other institutions. Mr Hunt said he would reveal the names of the other hospitals affected at a later date.

Officials from the Department of Health have asked Metropolitan Police officers from Operation Yewtree – one of six separate inquiries set up following Savile’s death in October 2011 – to pass on any information it had which might refer to “health and care settings”, Mr Hunt said.

“We understand the material includes information about hospitals where investigations are already underway, and reference to other hospitals,” he told Parliament in a statement.

The Met is already examining evidence of criminal conduct by Savile in a probe which has drawn in a number of other celebrities. It is expected to report in the New Year with reports suggesting the final number of victims could exceed 500.

Mr Hunt said the separate NHS inquiry would now publish its findings in June 2014.

Lawyers representing victims of Savile welcomed the widening of the NHS inquiry but said those that had suffered at the DJ’s hands would be dismayed at the further delay.

Liz Dux, head of abuse at Slater and Gordon Lawyers, who represents 72 potential victims, said: “My clients all need closure and whilst we welcome a detailed understanding of how Savile was able to operate unchecked for so many years, at the same time we need to recognise that until these reports are concluded their suffering continues.”

Savile raised an estimated £40m for charity during his lifetime and his fundraising role gave him unparalleled access to the institutions he helped. He had his own bedroom and living quarters at Stoke Mandeville and Broadmoor and worked as a porter in Leeds where he mingled freely with patients.

A report by the NSPCC and Scotland Yard said he committed up to 57 offences at hospitals including Great Ormond Street, Exeter, Portsmouth Royal and Ashworth high secure unit. It was claimed he carried out one offence at a hospice in Leeds.

The report published in January said his first offence was committed at Stoke Mandeville in 1965, the last at Leeds General Infirmary in 1995 although it is believed his final attack took place during the filming of Top of the Pops in 2006.

Three quarters of his victims, who included dying children, were under 18 whilst 82 per cent were female. Lesley McLean, divisional manager for victim support in West Yorkshire, said: "Reliving past abuses can be extremely traumatic for victims, who have had to cope with these events for many years. While getting to the truth of what happened is important, we continue to make sure that victims come first, and are given the emotional support they need as this investigation progresses.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003