By Simon Basketter
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Report reveals Edwina Currie approved Jimmy Savile’s role at hospitals

This article is over 9 years, 7 months old
Issue 2410
Broadmoor Hospital
Broadmoor Hospital (Pic: Andrew Smith)

Jimmy Savile was given “free run” in hospitals to turn up day or night, which allowed him to assault patients.

And his senior role at the high security psychiatric hospital Broadmoor was approved in 1988 by Tory health minister Edwina Currie.

Details of more than 100 victims came to light as 28 hospitals published reports last week into sexual assaults committed over several decades by Savile.

They included allegations that Savile had shown Rolf Harris around Broadmoor in the 1970s and the two had watched vulnerable women undress. 

This information was only made public after Harris’s conviction for sexual offences on Monday of last week. The reports also show the level of access that the friend of Margaret Thatcher had to vulnerable people. 


During a 50-year association with Leeds General Infirmary, Savile volunteered as a hospital porter and abused at least 60 people aged between five and 75. 

The abuse took place between 1962 and 2009 and three of the allegations were of rape. His victims included 19 boys and girls, and 19 female members of staff. 

A report from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust found that he was even allowed to give bed baths and boasted of exploits at the mortuary. Sue Proctor the lead investigator said, “He said he went to the mortuary at night and played with the bodies and committed sex acts.” 

The report found that four children and five adults reported their experiences, but they were ignored. Investigations at Broadmoor Hospital identified 11 allegations of sexual assault, two involving children. Some patients were subjected to “repeated assault”.

Savile was appointed to a senior position at Broadmoor by senior civil servant Cliff Graham. The appointment was backed and approved by Edwina Currie, the then health minister.


She also approved of his plan to confront the Prison Officers’ Association, which was holding a overtime ban at the hospital. He promised the minister he’d win officers’ compliance by threatening to expose their overtime fiddling to the Sun newspaper.

In evidence to the inquiry, Currie said this taskforce was dreamed up and “seemed like a very good idea–and step forward Jimmy Savile, who knew the place backwards and was more than happy to volunteer his time to do this and we were happy to do it.”

In a press release from the time Currie said, “He is an amazing man and has my full confidence.”

At Leeds he befriended the chief governor, in Broadmoor he actually chose him. In Broadmoor, he didn’t need the security guards to lend him keys so he could slip in without question as he had in Leeds. 

The governor gave him a set of his own along with an office and a house near the grounds. Alan Franey was the boss of Broadmoor at the height of Savile’s crimes there. He is now a Tory councillor and deputy leader of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

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