A Conservative MP has written to the boss of Stoke Mandeville Hospital demanding a full inquiry into whether staff were ‘complicit’ in the Savile sex abuse scandal.
A number of former patients have come forward claiming they were sexually abused by Savile while at the hospital.
Reading MP Rob Wilson said: “The scale of the allegations against Sir Jimmy Savile is quite staggering. I do not think what is alleged to have happened at Stoke Mandeville Hospital to be acceptable in a decent society.
“I have written to the chief executive of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust today to request a full inquiry into what happened, what was known at the time, what records were kept and what is known now.
“If it is true, as alleged by ex-staff, that they were warned about Savile by hospital managers, they are complicit in the most disturbing of crimes.
“Some significant questions need to be answered. Such as why did it allow Jimmy Savile just to roam the hospital at will? Was it just because he raised money? Was there concerns because the charity tap was about to turn off? These are significant questions that need to be answered because the public needs reassuring.
“For the sake of the hospital’s reputation, I urge the Trust not to drag its feet and act quickly. We now need openness and transparency, not the establishment closing ranks.”
Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust said it had been contacted by the Metropolitan police this week and is supporting them with their inquiries.
It added: “At this stage in the proceedings it would not be appropriate for us to conduct our own internal investigation.
“If their findings suggest that we do need to take further action then we will do so.
“We have advised our staff that if they have any concerns or wish to raise anything relating to the allegations then they should contact their local police force.”
However, Mr Wilson said hiding behind the police investigation was not good enough.
He said: “Criminality is just one part of what’s going on. What about the culture within Stoke Mandeville Hospital? How could the hospital allow Jimmy Savile to get up to these things that he got up to?”
The BBC has already said it will be holding its own inquiry and possibly issuing a prime-time television apology to the alleged victims and Mr Wilson said the hospital should act quickly.
He continued: “The evidence is growing, the weight of evidence is growing and the allegations are growing. If Stoke Mandeville orders a swift inquiry it makes the job of apologising much easier.
“It seems strange that if these complaints were being made nobody took them up or recorded them. We are talking about someone roaming around the hospital molesting under age girls. That’s apparently well known around the hospital.”
Mr Wilson’s full letter to Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust boss, Anne Eden
Dear Ms Eden,
Re: Allegations concerning the late Sir Jimmy Savile OBE KCSG
I am writing in relation to Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s decision not to hold an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse of former patients of Stoke Mandeville hospital made against the late Sir Jimmy Savile.
It appears that Savile, who was provided by staff with a room to stay in at Stoke Mandeville, was given liberty to roam and loiter in wards at the hospital. There are now numerous allegations that Savile sexually assaulted young patients at the hospital and at associated fundraising events. Perhaps more shockingly, there are allegations that management and nurses at the hospital were aware of allegations about Savile’s behaviour and that little meaningful action was taken to protect the extremely vulnerable children and young people at the hospital from such horrific behaviour. Indeed, one former patient today told the BBC that staff advised young patients how to avoid being chosen to go to Savile’s “little room”.
These shocking allegations threaten the reputation of Stoke Mandeville hospital. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust stated on Monday that it is “unaware of any record or reports of inappropriate behaviour of this nature during Sir Jimmy Savile’s work with the Trust”, but would “cooperate fully if the appropriate authorities decide to investigate and call upon us for input.” This is not adequate. It is essential for the restoration of public confidence that the Trust takes a pro-active approach to these allegations of knowledge and potential complicity by Stoke Mandeville staff in Savile’s behaviour. If the Trust itself was unaware of the allegations of Savile’s behaviour but management and staff at Stoke Mandeville apparently were, you must establish who knew what and when, and why the Trust itself did not become aware of these deeply serious allegations.
I look forward to hearing from you. I am copying this letter to the Rt Hon David Liddington [sic] MP, Member of Parliament for Aylesbury.
Rob Wilson MP
Member of Parliament for Reading East