Savile’s 50 year reign of abuse spanned 28 NHS hospitals, investigation finds

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 27 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g4319
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Harrowing details of how the former DJ Jimmy Savile sexually abused patients, staff, visitors, and even allegedly engaged in necrophilia on NHS premises over half a century were revealed yesterday in a series of shocking reports into cases of alleged abuse at 28 hospitals.1

The incidents ranged from lewd remarks and inappropriate touching to sexual assault and rape. Victims were aged 5 to 75 and of both sexes, although most were female teenagers or young women.

The investigators branded Savile “an opportunistic sexual predator” and described how he used his celebrity status to gain the trust of management, to convince suspicious staff that he had the power to have them fired, and to ensure that his vulnerable victims understood that they would not be believed if they complained.

The reports depicted a hierarchical NHS where young staff members were frightened to raise concerns, security arrangements were lax, and—in the case of the Broadmoor high security psychiatric hospital—a blind eye was turned to inappropriate staff–patient sexual relationships. Savile was allowed to roam free and in …

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