Up to 30 hospitals are now under investigation as part of the inquiry into Jimmy Savile’s alleged abuse of patients at NHS hospitals. Hospitals not previously linked to such allegations are to be examined for the first time.
Jimmy Savile was believed to have committed offences at 13 hospitals and investigations were originally launched at Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville and Leeds General Infirmary, along with inquiries at 10 other trusts. However, in an update to Parliament, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said more evidence has now emerged suggesting that abuse may have occurred at more hospitals.
Mr Hunt has asked police to review all evidence before relevant information is passed on to investigators “as quickly as possible”. He went on to state how “It is vital that the final NHS investigation report is thorough and complete and reflects all the evidence about Jimmy Savile’s pattern of offending.’
The final report will be published in 2014 but it is thought it may now be delayed in light of this fresh information.
After Jimmy Savile died in 2011 aged 84, it emerged he may have abused hundreds of children. He had a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an office and living quarters at Broadmoor, and widespread access to Leeds General Infirmary.
The wave of allegations made against him led to the launch of the Operation Yewtree police investigation, which is also looking into claims about others linked to him as well as separate allegations about a number of celebrities.
Officials from the Department of Health have asked Metropolitan Police officers from Operation Yewtree to pass on any information it has which might refer to ‘health and care settings’. It is understood that some of this material contains information about hospitals where investigations are already underway, and reference to other hospitals.
Whilst the victims of Savile have welcomed the widening of the NHS inquiry, it has caused dismay at the further delays it will involve.
As solicitors specialising in abuse claims, we know that for victims of abuse, coming forward about their experiences is an extremely difficult hurdle to overcome. It is hoped that Savile’s victims can take comfort in the fact that the allegations are being thoroughly explored and that when the investigation has concluded they can find some form of closure.
At Farleys, we have a dedicated department to help victims of abuse claim compensation. Please do not hesitate to get in contact for a free and confidential chat with a member of our team.
By Jonathan Bridge, Abuse Claim Lawyer