Guttmann’s daughter hopes time will heal hospital’s name after Savile scandal

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Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s daughter has said she hopes Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s name will not be tarnished forever by the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

Eva Loeffler, who lives in Suffolk, said: “I hope everyone will forget about it.

“It would be very sad if they didn’t. It’s difficult to forget about it when it’s at the time.

“I don’t think Jimmy Savile’s memory will ever recover. There probably would not be a spinal centre if it wasn’t for him, but I can’t understand how he did these horrible and despicable things.

“I can’t understand the extraordinary stories I’ve heard.”

The Metropolitan Police now believe there could be more than 300 potential victims of Savile across a 40-year period with several believed to have come from the hospital.

Some victims have also accused Stoke Mandeville Hospital doctors of taking part in the abuse.

Despite the BBC now holding three separate inquiries. Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust has said it will not hold its own until the conclusion of the police investigation.

It did say it was ‘saddened and shocked’ by the allegations.

Mrs Loeffler said it was likely her father and Savile did cross paths but not frequently as Guttmann retired in 1967, while the Jim’ll Fix It star joined the hospital as a volunteer porter in 1969.

The Jimmy’s cafe sign at the hospital has now been removed and Mrs Loeffler said she supported renaming it 

This comes after chairman of the Poppa Guttmann Trust Mike Mackenzie said he would have liked to seen the cafe renamed Poppa’s after the founder of the Paralympic Games.

However, Mrs Loeffler instead said she could not understand why Stoke Mandeville Stadium had altered its name from the Guttmann Sports Centre.

She said: “I wish they would call it the Guttmann Sports Centre.

“Last time I went for the junior games, it said welcome to the Guttmann Centre. It’s a much better name and especially right now.”

Meanwhile, Mr Mackenzie said the statue of Poppa Guttmann is likely to be relocated from the stadium to outside the spinal unit by the end of the year.