Former Halifax Royal Infirmary faces probe into Jimmy Savile abuse

Jimmy Saville
Jimmy Saville

The former Halifax Royal Hospital is to be investigated over fresh claims of abuse by disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile.

Three West Yorkshire NHS Trusts are among nine NHS organisations facing new inquiries, in addition to the one already running at Leeds General Infirmary.

Along with the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Meanwood Park Hospital in Leeds and the West Yorkshire Ambulance Service were today added to the investigations list, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed in a written statement.

The NHS Legacy Unit, which provides oversight of NHS investigations into alleged abuse by Savile on health premises, has passed on information from victims and the Metropolitan Police to the trusts.

The fresh claims have emerged since 28 investigation reports into Savile’s activities in NHS premises were published in June.

Outstanding investigation reports, including an investigation into Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, have been delayed until later in the year at the request of prosecutors, the Health Secretary added.

There will also be a delay to the publication of investigations into alleged abuse by Savile in children’s homes and schools, which are overseen by the Department for Education, Mr Hunt added.

New investigations have been launched into the following hospitals and health services:

• Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (subject to previous investigation)

• Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (subject to previous investigation)

• West Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service

• Calderdale Royal Hospital, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

• Meanwood Park Hospital, Leeds and York Partnerships Foundation Trust

• St Martins Hospital, Canterbury Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

• Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

• Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust (subject to previous investigation)

• Birch Hill Hospital, Rochdale Pennine Acute NHS Trust

• Scott House Hospital, Rochdale Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust

• Bethlem Royal Hospital, South London and the Maudsley NHS Trust

• Shenley Hospital, Central and North West London NHS Trust

Findings in the NHS investigation reports published in June said Savile committed “truly awful” abuse against patients at hospitals across the country and even boasted about having sex with corpses.

Branded as an “opportunistic sexual predator” by investigators, Savile used the NHS and his celebrity status to “exploit and abuse” patients and staff.

Among the most disturbing findings were “macabre accounts” of claims the now-dead TV and radio presenter performed sex acts on dead bodies in the mortuary at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) and at least one other hospital.

Savile, a Radio 1 DJ who also presented the BBC’s Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, died aged 84 in October 2011 - a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile.

The documentary ultimately led to a joint review by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC, which in turn triggered separate NHS investigations.

Efa Schimdt, abuse lawyer with Slater and Gordon, which represents 169 of Jimmy Savile’s victims, said: “Very sadly I am not surprised that the investigations into Jimmy Savile’s horrific reign of abuse continues to widen.

“The most important thing is to get to the truth. We must not stop until we know absolutely everything about how Savile was able to carry out decades of abuse in plain sight.

“The victims are pleased that we are getting closer to understanding exactly how all this was allowed to happened. However with every new investigation the pain goes on. What everyone is longing for is closure.

“The victims also believe redress in the form of a change to the law by introducing mandatory reporting of child abuse within certain regulated activities would stop predators like Savile ever striking again.”