An inquiry has found that more than 60 people were abused by Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville hospital.
The Stoke Mandeville report said the victims who were abused from 1968-92, were aged eight to 40 and the report’s lead investigator, Dr Androulla Johnstone, said the victims included “patients, staff, visitors, volunteers and charity fundraisers”
For over two decades Savile had a free reign at the hospital due to his gold-plated status as a celebrity fundraiser and despite being the subject of at least ten complaints as far back as 1972, the late BBC DJ got away with it as none of the compalints were taken seriously or raised with senior managers.
In 1980 Savile met Margaret Thatcher who was prime minister at the time, to discuss the funding of Stoke Mandeville’s spinal injuries – and was appointed the same year to oversee fundraising and rebuilding of the unit despite no previous experience of managing a project of that kind.
The Guardian reports:
Savile’s association with Stoke Mandeville dates back to 1969, when he began work as a volunteer porter and starstruck managers gave him unrestricted access to the hospital grounds. The DJ immediately “caused annoyance and distress” to junior staff because of his constant sexual innuendo, the report found, but he was feted by senior managers.
In 1980, Savile’s grip on the hospital tightened when government ministers appointed him as chief fundraiser of the new National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC). This had the consequence of the hospital becoming dependent on Savile’s funds for 20 years and allowed him to attack a new set of victims in young fundraisers.
Another newly published report by Kate Lampard, former barrister and NHS executive, reviews how Savile could have abused victims at 41 NHS hospitals.