Savile probe makes 35 recommendations to health trust

Jimmy Savile pictured at Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Jimmy Savile pictured at Stoke Mandeville Hospital

A review into how well vulnerable people are protected at Bucks hospitals following the Jimmy Savile scandal has made 35 recommendations to health chiefs and called for an urgent review of safeguarding training.

Following the historic sex abuse allegations against Savile, some of which took place at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, a review was carried out into the safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults at Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust.

Key findings from the review and cases examined indicated that children and adults are currently safeguarded appropriately across the hospitals.

However, 35 recommendations were made, with one priority recommendation that the trust’s safeguarding training strategy be revised as soon as possible.

The report by Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board and Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board states: “There is an evident comprehensive safeguarding framework but there are certain elements that require strengthening.

“It is necessary for the trust to raise the profile of safeguarding across the organisation, ensuring safeguarding is recognised as ‘everybody’s business’ and that a safeguarding culture is embedded throughout and at all levels.

Donald McPhail, independent chair of the Safeguarding Children Board said: “This detailed scrutiny of arrangements for safeguarding in Buckinghamshire’s hospitals has provided an opportunity to strengthen the existing safeguarding infrastructure within the hospitals.

“An additional review will be carried out next year, to establish how the implementation of these 35 recommendations has achieved a further deepening of the safeguarding culture for children and vulnerable adults.”

Anne Eden, chief executive, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We very much welcome the audit and are pleased that it did not find any safeguarding situation where children or vulnerable adults have been at risk in our hospitals. The recommendations made by the Safeguarding Boards are extremely useful and will help us to further strengthen the framework we have in place.”

The trust has since developed an action plan to implement all of the recommendations, and progress for this will be overseen by a joint project group of the Children’s and Adult’s Boards.

Further work has also been recommended to continue to strengthen the safeguarding culture within the hospitals.

Ms Eden continued: “We take our safeguarding responsibilities very seriously and have already started addressing many of the recommendations, including the introduction of a comprehensive training strategy.”

Charles Owen-Conway, independent chair of the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board said: “We have been encouraged by the positive response of the hospitals to the findings contained in the report and their willingness to build on the satisfactory levels of safeguarding across the various sites.”

Angela Macpherson, Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services said: “For the county council the safety and wellbeing of all our vulnerable children and adults is of paramount importance, which is why I am really encouraged by the results of this review and the actions being taken to strengthen procedures further to ensure their safety.”