AN INDEPENDENT investigation is examining claims Jimmy Savile abused patients at a former East Riding psychiatric hospital.
An external investigator has been commissioned by Humber NHS Foundation Trust to examine allegations about the late TV presenter whose celebrity status allowed him to committ sexual abuse at NHS hospitals on a grand scale for nearly 50 years.
The trust launched the fresh investigation relating to Savile visiting De La Pole hospital, in Willerby, near Hull, in the 1970s, following a Humberside Police investigation which ended last year.
A trust spokeswoman said: “The investigation is currently ongoing and therefore we cannot comment on the allegations made. The remit of the investigation is to as far as possible establish the truth about the allegations or information received and whether there is any implication for current policy and practice.
“A report will be produced and published once the investigation is complete.”
A harrowing report in February concluded Savile raped and abused at least 60 people at Stoke Mandeville hospital including seriously ill children, during a 24-year reign of terror.
At least ten of the victims – who ranged in age from eight to 40 – reported the abuse at the time but nothing was done to stop Savile and senior management claimed they were never made aware of what was going on.
An explosive report is expected to uncover hundreds more victims when Dame Janet Smith’s report into sexual abuse at the BBC is finally published later this year.
De La Pole has already been the subject of one Savile-related investigation following two claims made in 2013 that he assaulted a young woman while she was in traction at its orthapedic unit, which was run by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The girl was said to have told a nurse Savile had put his hands “all over her”. The incident was reported to investigators via another nurse and a second anonymous report was also made. However when police traced the patient she recalled Savile visiting around 1971 when she was confined to bed but denied vehemently any incident took place.
A report said: “He made some comment about the alleged victim looking like the Forth Road Bridge due to her traction, he then moved on.”
She told investigators she was “disappointed” as he had been there a few minutes and had not even shaken her hand. Police concluded there was no evidence to back up the claims and no reason to doubt her veracity.
At its board meeting the trust agreed an action plan, including introducing a policy for dealing with visits by celebrities. It has already reviewed how it deals with volunteers.
Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, is believed to have abused hundreds of children.
As well as a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville he had an office and living quarters at high-security Broadmoor – where he sexually abused at least five individuals – and widespread access to Leeds General Infirmary where he claimed to have “interfered with the bodies of deceased patients” in the mortuary.
He died a year before sex abuse allegations were aired in an ITV documentary. This ultimately led to a joint review by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC, which in turn triggered separate NHS investigations.
De La Pole Hospital closed in 1991.