Published On: Thu, Jun 26th, 2014 on 12:50 pm

Sue Ryder comments on Wheatfields Hospice incident as Savile reports to publish

Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile

A national charity has commented on an incident that took place at one of its hospices as a string of reports into the scale of abuse by Jimmy Savile are to be published.

Accounts of sexual abuse and improper conduct by Leeds-born Savile in over 20 NHS hospitals are due to be outlined in a series of reports.

The reports are expected to identify opportunities that were missed for Savile’s offending to be confronted over a period of over 50 years.

Much of the focus will be on inquiries carried out at the Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in Berkshire, where Savile had extensive access.

A report will also be released on Sue Ryder’s Wheatfields Hospice, located in Headingley, Leeds.

The hospice opened in 1978, and Jimmy Savile was well known locally for his fundraising efforts and also attended a fundraising event to promote the opening.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Lady Ryder and invited guests were also present, as was The Yorkshire Evening Post.

Savile was once a Radio 1 DJ who also presented BBC’s Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, and died aged 84 in 2011.

His death was a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in an ITV documentary.

Heidi Travis, CEO at Sue Ryder, said: “We were appalled and dismayed to hear that at this event an incident with Mr Savile and a teenage girl, who we can confirm was neither a patient nor a patient’s relative, took place.

“Since learning of this incident, we have worked closely with Operation Yewtree’s investigation team in Leeds and carried out our own report to obtain all relevant facts aligned to the incident.

“Our investigation has confirmed that the incident at Wheatfields Hospice was an isolated case and that Jimmy Savile was not a regular visitor to the hospice only attending four public fundraising events between 1978 and 2003.”

Sue Ryder’s report claims there are no reports or evidence to suggest that Savile was ever unsupervised during the visits, and that he was ever allowed access to its inpatient unit.

Similarly, the report does not suggest that he was familiar with the day-to-day working practices of the Wheatfields Hospice.

The findings of the report have been shared with Operation Yewtree, the Leeds Hospital investigation team and the Department of Health.

Ms Travis added: “Following on from our investigation, we will continue to operate rigorous safeguarding and vetting procedures across all Sue Ryder operations, including care services, fundraising and retail and will continue to ensure celebrity support is supervised at all times; allowing no uncontrolled access to vulnerable people.

“Finally, we would like to express that our thoughts remain with the individual involved and her family at this difficult time.”

Earlier this month a report by the NSPCC said Savile abused at least 500 victims, including some as young as two.

A report issued into the actions of the Crown Prosecution Service concluded that Savile could have been prosecuted in 2009, if prosecutors had taken the claims of victims more seriously.

About the Author

Guest Editorial

- The work of guest writers who publish original content to the Yorkshire Standard. All material is copyrighted and belongs to the Yorkshire Standard.

Leave a comment

Your comment will be approved before it is published.

Comments containing profanity, spam or web links will NOT be approved.