TWO North East hospitals are among 19 being investigated over links with disgraced television presenter Jimmy Savile investigated, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.
Durham’s Dryburn Hospital – now University Hospital Durham – and Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary are both on the list.
In a written ministerial statement, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he expected reports to be delivered by next June. The 19 hospitals will be investigated by their relevant health trusts but each investigation will be properly monitored.
They are in addition to an initial 13 inquiries into hospitals which are believed to have been visited by the disgraced television presenter. Savile is thought to have used his position to abuse vulnerable patients, many of them children.
The total number of hospitals now being investigated is 32.
After details first emerged about cases of alleged abuse by Savile in hospitals, three major investigations were launched at Leeds General Infirmary, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Broadmoor Hospital.
Further investigations were then announced at ten hospitals across the country. These latest inquiries come off the back of investigations by the Metropolitan Police into Savile.
Detectives investigating the cases of abuse gleaned further information that patients at the 19 hospitals could have been targeted by Savile and so further inquiries were ordered.
In his written statement to MPs, Mr Hunt said former barrister Kate Lampard, who was asked to oversee the Department of Health’s investigations into Savile, will make sure the inquiries are properly carried out.
Mr Hunt said: “The Metropolitan Police Service has completed its document review and transferred various material concerning Jimmy Savile and the NHS to the Department of Health.
“The information has been passed on to the relevant hospital trust for further investigation as appropriate. Names of the hospitals are taken from the information received. These include hospitals that may have closed in which case the information has been passed on to the legacy organisation.
“Kate Lampard, who was asked to provide independent assurance of the NHS investigations on behalf of the Department of Health, will provide general assurance of the quality of all reports in her final assurance report.
“We expect the final reports of all the investigations to be completed by June 2014, with publication sooner if that is possible.”