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Jeremy Hunt: NHS will widen Jimmy Savile sexual abuse inquiry

Metro.co.uk, Oct 14, 2013
by Paul McMillan

 

Hunt: NHS will widen Savile abuse inquiry

Inquiries into alleged sexual abuse by the disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile on NHS premises will be expanded to more hospitals, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed.

Further ‘relevant information’ concerning the late presenter’s activities has come to light during investigations across Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville, Leeds General Infirmary and 10 other institutions, Mr Hunt added.

Mr Hunt said any hospitals involved would be named once the review of the new potential evidence was complete.

‘We understand the material includes information about hospitals where investigations are already under way and reference to other hospitals,’ he told the House of Commons.

‘Once this review is complete, the information will be passed on to the relevant trusts or investigations as quickly as possible.’

Inquiries were launched following the allegations of abuse last year.

The final reports of the current investigations are now expected to be finished by next June.

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Mr Hunt added on Monday: ‘Although all 13 investigations are currently on track, this additional material means that the timetable will be affected.

‘It is vital that the final NHS investigation reports are thorough and complete and reflect all the evidence about Jimmy Savile’s pattern of offending.’

Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, is alleged to 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 sparked the launch of the Operation Yewtree police investigation, which is also looking into claims about others linked to the presenter as well as separate allegations about a number of high-profile figures.

Lesley McLean, divisional manager for Victim Support in West Yorkshire, said: ‘Victims have shown a great deal of courage in coming forward to report dreadful experiences from many years ago. Victim Support staff and volunteers in West Yorkshire have been working closely with some of those affected by Savile’s criminal activities, and have heard distressing and disturbing accounts of what happened to them.

‘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.’

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