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Jimmy Savile scandal: Allegations star abused patients and others at Stoke Mandeville Hospital 'were reported to staff'

An inquiry led by independent investigator Dr Androulla Johnstone found that more than 50 people were abused by Savile at the hospital, including patients, staff and visitors as young as eight

Ian Johnston
Thursday 26 February 2015 00:37 GMT

Allegations that Jimmy Savile was abusing patients and others at Stoke Mandeville Hospital were reported to staff at the time, an independent investigation is expected to say.

A woman, who was an 18-year-old patient at the time when she was attacked, told the BBC that Savile had climbed through a window beside her bed, then sexually assaulted her.

“It was absolutely disgusting, it's just the worst thing possible,” she said. “I told the nurses what Savile had done, the fact that he came in and had spoken to me.

“They just said they know he's like that and 'ignore him, ignore him'. They thought it was funny, really. I thought he'd just done that to me, I thought that was something I was just going to have to live with. I had no idea he was doing things to other people.”

She questioned how Savile had known why she was in the hospital.

Liz Dux, a lawyer who represents 44 people who say they were abused at Stoke Mandeville, said: “As an institution, Stoke Mandeville, in my opinion, is actually the most blameworthy for Savile's crimes.

“We have very young vulnerable people there, who were there in a place to be looked after, some of whom couldn't move, some of them were in wheelchairs.

“We even have a clear example of someone reporting the abuse to a senior nursing sister and being told to be quiet because of what he did for the institution. It will be a disgrace if the report into Stoke Mandeville reaches the same findings as it did in Leeds - that there was no accountability or knowledge within the senior management of the hospital.”

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said it would respond to the report after it was published.

Chris McFarlane, the hospital’s former director of nursing, said the allegations against Savile “never reached senior management ears”.

“If he knocked on a closed door and somebody opened the door, Jimmy would be allowed in. I don't believe I ever knew anybody, even the ones who thought there was something funny about him, anybody who would have said 'you're not allowed in here,’” she said.

“How could we have allowed him to sit with our patients in the spinal unit, some of whom were tetraplegic, so paralysed from the neck down, others from the chest or waist down, sit with them, without anybody bothering to ask what he was doing?”

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