Senior management at Stoke Mandeville hospital knew about the abuse of young patients at the hands of Jimmy Savile, a lawyer representing many of the victims claims.
A series of investigations by NHS hospitals into allegations of abuse by the disgraced entertainer were made public on Thursday – including a key report into his activities at the Buckinghamshire hospital – said to be one of Jimmy Savile’s favoured hospitals.
Kate Lampard, who was appointed by the Department of Health to oversee the investigations, presented recommendations on the lessons learnt from all Savile’s activities in the NHS at a press conference in London on Thursday.
Also being released are the findings of investigations into a string of other hospitals and NHS organisations, announced in November after fresh abuse came to light.
Ms Lampard’s report into lessons to be learned, described Savile as “a famous, flamboyantly eccentric, narcicisstic and manipulative television personality” who used his celebrity profile and volunteering and fundraising activities “to gain access, influence and power in certain hospitals”.
It described his history of associations with NHS hospitals as “unusual to the point of being scarcely credible.”
Liz Dux, abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon which represents 44 of Savile’s victims, said: “We have clear evidence from Savile victims at Stoke Mandeville that senior staff knew about the abuse.
“Some people knew and decided to ignore it. Frankly, it beggars belief.
Anything less will rightly be seen as a whitewash. Liz Dux
“We expect the report to once again outline horrendous levels of abuse. And we believe it will also have uncovered many missed opportunities to stop the abuse and even bring Savile to justice.”
Among the other findings due to be released are reports into Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), which had already been subject to an investigation, West Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Bethlem Royal Hospital in south London.
Read Victoria Macdonald's blog: how Jimmy Savile abused hospital patients aged five to 75
The opportunistic predator used the NHS and his celebrity status to “exploit and abuse” patients and staff, the 28 investigation reports released last June found.
Caroline Moore, a victim at the hospital, previously told of how Savile preyed on her when she was 13 while she was recovering from spinal fusion treatment. “What I find horrific is that people who worked at these organisations knew what was going on – and did nothing about it,” she said.
“I hope that the reports, when they are published, bring some people to task. We deserve redress and we deserve to know how this could have ever happened.”
Campaigners have said though that until mandatory reporting is introduced to compel staff to report concerns of abuse then children will still be at risk.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to make a statement following publication of the reports.