Investigators say Ex-BBC DJ Jimmy Savile sexually assaulted victims aged 5 to 75 in NHS hospitals, including Leeds General Infirmary, over decades with unrestricted access.
The report on Leeds General Infirmary explains how Savile was allowed unsupervised access to vulnerable patients, with a failure to question the risks of his unconventional and promiscuous lifestyle.
The investigation found:
– 60 people came forward to say they had been abused between the ages of 5 and 75, including staff
– The offences ranged from lewd remarks to sexual assault and 3 cases of rape and took place between 1962 and 2009
– Only 9 victims told members of staff. There were a further 8 female victims who met Savile at the hospital, but were not patients
– Savile had a well-known fixation with the dead and the report contains allegations he posed for photographs and performed sex acts on corpses in the hospital mortuary as well as making jewellery out of glass eyes
– While there is no way to verify the claim, Dr Sue Proctor – who led the Leeds inquiry – said there is no doubt controls on access to the mortuary were “lax”
– Patients, including teenagers recovering from surgery, were abused in their beds
– A 10-year-old boy was sexually assaulted while he waited on a trolley for an x-ray on his broken arm
– A number of organisational failures over the years enabled Savile to continue unchallenged
– The situation allowed someone “as manipulative as Savile to thrive and continue his abusive behaviour unchecked for years”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised to victims on behalf of the government and NHS, saying Savile’s actions “will shake our country to the core” and “We let them down badly.”
A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “deeply shocked”, adding it was “important lessons are learned”.
The Leeds report was clear that no one person is to blame for what happened at the hospital other than Savile. But it did describe a lack of curiosity about his activities.
Lesley McLean, Victim Support manager for West Yorkshire, said: “The parents of the children [Savile] abused in Leeds hospitals were already anxious about their child’s health. What they thought was a treat for their loved one was actually their worst nightmare.”
Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust issued a statement apologising to “each and every one of Savile’s victims”. “There should have been far more scrutiny of him and what he was doing at our hospitals over the years, and more robust safeguards and internal controls in place to protect our staff and patients in our care,” chief executive Julian Hartley said.
Reports have been issued on: St Catherine’s Hospital (Birkenhead); Saxondale Mental Health Hospital; Portsmouth Royal Hospital; Dewsbury and District Hospital (including Pinderfields Hospital); High Royds Psychiatric Hospital; Cardiff Royal Infirmary; Great Ormond Street Hospital; Exeter Hospital; Ashworth Hospital; Barnet General Hospital; Booth Hall; De La Pole Hospital; Dryburn Hospital; Hammersmith Hospital; Leavesden Secure Mental Health Hospital; Marsden Hospital; Maudsley Hospital; Odstock Hospital; Prestwich Psychiatric Hospital; Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead; Royal Victoria Infirmary; Queen Mary’s Hospital, Carshalton; Whitby Memorial Hospital; Wythenshawe Hospital, and Woodhouse Eaves Children’s Convalescent Homes in Leicester.