Stoke Mandeville Hospital still has questions to answer over the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal

This week the Independent established that premises there were used at will by the television presenter. What else can they tell us about his stay there?

Related Topics

The police investigation into Sir Jimmy Savile seems to have become a very convenient screen to hide behind, for the BBC and the hospitals where he was ubiquitous. It shouldn’t be a reason to evade some very significant questions which can easily be answered now. Like the one about when - and for how - long Savile was granted free premises at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, to come and go as he pleased.

The fact that premises had been put at Savile’s disposal was established by The Independent on Tuesday and attempts to extract a more detailed picture from the hospital about it this week have only created a sense that there is something to hide. There was confirmation from the hospital that it was a ‘flat’ but no answer - after five times of asking across two days - to the question of whether it had been removed from Savile when his own predilections had been known. Neither would the hospital confirm or deny a suggestion – which came from the same source – that a system of chaperoning Savile when he was present in the hospital been introduced when the threat he posed became clear.


The chaperone question is still out there, unanswered, though it was at 5.30pm on Thursday that confirmation finally arrived – in a 40-word statement - to repeated inquiries about whether Savile’s premises had been removed from him. No, they had not. The statement said that Savile had “access to a room outside of the main hospital and away from clinical areas. This was made available to them in conjunction with their fundraising activity, and was utilised by them until his death.”

The word ‘room’ is significant - because it belongs to a shifting and contradictory narrative across the course of this week about how the hospital where he is accused of abusing patients actually accommodated him. Twice, in telephone calls to the hospital on Wednesday, it was described to me as a ‘flat.’ In an emailed statement that day it was subsequently described as a “facility,” though I was subsequently told ‘facility’ meant ‘flat.’ “That’s what we mean when we say ‘the facility,” the hospital confirmed.


By last evening, it had morphed to a ‘room’ which characterised it as some kind of meeting place (with balloons and raffle ticket books you seemed to be encouraged to imagined). Rebecca Owens, an ex-patient of the hospital, provided a rather different perspective last night when she told Newsnight last night about how, when news arrived that Savile was turning up, there was “some ironic chat between [the nurses] about who would be the unlucky one to off with him to his room.”

So let’s have it, Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Was this a room or a flat? What facilities an accommodation was within it? Did he need the chaperone? The BBC’s omerta about why their Newsnight film didn’t run is one thing. Obfuscation about how a hospital interacted with Savile is another. We - and more significantly the patients who were treated at the hospital between the years of 1972 and 2011, when Savile was present - are entitled to clarity and transparency.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power