More hospitals may be investigated as part of inquiries into sexual abuse by disgraced Yorkshire DJ Jimmy Savile on NHS premises, the Health Secretary has announced.
Jeremy Hunt said new information has come to light relating to investigations across 13 institutions as well as “reference to other hospitals”.
He has asked police to review all of the evidence before relevant information is passed on to investigators “as quickly as possible”.
Investigations were launched into activities at Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville and Leeds General Infirmary following the abuse revelations last year, along with inquiries at 10 other trusts.
But further “relevant information” regarding the presenter’s activities has now emerged. Mr Hunt said any hospitals involved would be named once the review of the new potential evidence had been completed.
“We understand the material includes information about hospitals where investigations are already under way and reference to other hospitals,” he said in a statement to Parliament
“Once this review is complete, the information will be passed on to the relevant trusts or investigations as quickly as possible.”
The final reports of the current investigations are now expected to be finished by next June.
Mr Hunt added: “Although all 13 investigations are currently on track, this additional material means that the timetable will be affected.
“It is vital that the final NHS investigation reports are thorough and complete and reflect all the evidence about Jimmy Savile’s pattern of offending.”
Leeds-born Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, is believed to have abused hundreds of children over several decades.
He had a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an office and living quarters at Broadmoor, and widespread access to Leeds General Infirmary.
The wave of allegations made against him sparked the launch of the Operation Yewtree police investigation, which is also looking into claims about others linked to him and separate allegations about several high-profile figures.
Alan Collins of Pannone Solicitors, who represent around 60 of Savile’s victims, said he had only been informed of allegations relating to Leeds General Infirmary and Stoke Mandeville.
He said: “All I can assume is that someone has said something, but who or what I don’t know.
“Many of the victims are getting rather weary of it all because all the media coverage. It just goes on and on and is a sharp reminder of what they experienced.
“They want to know who knew what and how it was allowed to go on for such a long time. They want answers and the longer it goes on the longer it will take to get answers.”
He said the possibility of other hospitals being investigated was “not all that surprising because with Savile’s so-called charity work he was all over the place.”
Liz Dux, head of abuse at Slater and Gordon Lawyers, who represents 72 potential Savile victims, said they would be “encouraged by news that the NHS inquiries will be comprehensive investigations of other institutions that may have been involved”
But she added: “The news that the time-frame for concluding the investigation has been extended until next June will be met with dismay”.