Investigations into Jimmy Savile


02 / 6 / 2015 Midnight

On 26 February 2015, Kate Lampard published her second report following investigations into the abuse of individuals by Jimmy Savile on NHS premises.  

The 'Lessons learnt' report looks into Jimmy Savile's role as both a volunteer and a fundraiser in the NHS; and how he abused his celebrity status to gain access, influence and control in a number of NHS settings over a period spanning across 50 years. The report is based on evidence gathered from the independent investigations, calls for evidence and information provided by staff and patients during visits to hospital sites across the country. It takes into consideration the arrangements and systems which have already been put in place which are targeted at strengthening patient care and safety; and reflects on areas of good practice and lessons learned in NHS trusts. 

The report has been published alongside independent reports by NHS organisations - links to these reports can be found at

Government response

In his speech Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary for England, thanked the work of Kate Lampard, the NHS Savile Legacy Unit and all those individuals who had contributed and provided evidence during a very difficult time. He also recognised the bravery of the patients and victims in relaying their experiences as part of the investigation and offered his apologies to all those involved, saying that we owe it to them to now ensure that their experiences are used to protect patients in the future.  

He reflected on the significant measures that had been put in place since this first came to light, and the good practice already undertaken by NHS trusts to strengthen safeguarding arrangements and with that in mind, he stated that he accepted 13 of the 14 recommendations in principle; and agreed that further consultation would be undertaken, where appropriate to work through how these actions can be implemented. 

He also stated that he had asked the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Trust Development Authority (TDA), NHS England and Monitor to take a particular focus on the safeguarding arrangements that are currently in place. A copy of their joint statement outlining the ways of working for professional bodies can be found on the CQC website.  


The report makes 14 recommendations - 13 of which have been "accepted in principle" (all except recommendation 6 - see employer note below).  

REC 1. All NHS hospital trusts should develop a policy for agreeing to and managing visits by celebrities, VIPs and other official visitors. The policy should apply to all such visits without exception. Further information about key considerations in regard to managing official visits on NHS premises is available on this website. 

REC 2. All NHS trusts should review their voluntary services arrangements and ensure that they are fit for purpose; volunteers are properly recruited, selected and trained and are subject to appropriate management and supervision; and all voluntary services managers have development opportunities and are properly supported.

REC 3. The Department of Health and NHS England should facilitate the establishment of a properly resourced forum for voluntary services managers in the NHS through which they can receive peer support and learning opportunities and disseminate best practice.

REC 4. All NHS trusts should ensure that their staff and volunteers undergo formal refresher training in safeguarding at the appropriate level at least every three years.

REC 5. All NHS hospital trusts should undertake regular reviews of 
their safeguarding resources, structures and processes (including their training programmes), and the behaviours and responsiveness of management and staff in relation to safeguarding issues - to ensure that their arrangements are robust and operate as effectively as possible.

REC 6. The Home Office should amend relevant legislation and regulations so as to ensure that all hospital staff and volunteers undertaking work or volunteering that brings them into contact with patients or their visitors are subject to enhanced DBS and barring list checks.  

This recommendation has not been accepted - legislation which underpins the requirement for a check under the DBS regime remains unchanged. It is important that employers fully understand their legal responsibilities in regard to ensuring positions they are recruiting to (including when making appointments to volunteering roles) are eligible for a DBS check, and the level of check required. Eligibility for a DBS check continues to be dependent on the roles and responsibilities of the position being appointed to, and the type of access they will have with children and/or adults in receipt of healthcare. Employers should make sure that their local policies and processes are fully compliant with the requirements outlined by the criminal record and barring check standard.  Further scenario based example guidance has been provided to support employers when considering whether or not a position is eligible for a DBS check and what level of check might be required.

REC 7. All NHS hospital trusts should undertake DBS checks (including, where applicable, enhanced DBS and barring list checks) on their staff and volunteers every three years. The implementation of this recommendation should be supported by NHS Employers. 

While not a legal requirement, employers are already permitted to require periodic DBS checks as part of their local policy. At this current time there is no appetite to prescribe a frequency period by which employers should undertake any repeat checks – instead they are recommended to consider how they can encourage workers and volunteers to subscribe to the DBS Update Service which offers a more satisfactory solution to this recommendation because of the added safeguarding measures this can provide.  See our briefing document on using the DBS Update Service (June 2014) which can be found on this website. Subscription to the Update Service remains free for volunteers.

Where employers have already implemented periodic DBS checks as part of their local policy, these arrangements can continue unaffected.

It is important that employers regularly review local recruitment policies and practices to ensure they remain fully compliant with current legal requirements under the DBS regime; and appropriate and proportionate measures are considered to minimise any potential risks to patient safety

REC 8. The Department of Health and NHS England should devise and put in place an action plan for raising and maintaining NHS employers’ awareness of their obligations to make referrals to the local authority designated officer (LADO) and to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

REC 9.  All NHS hospital trusts should devise a robust trust-wide policy setting out how access by patients and visitors to the internet, to social networks and other social media activities such as blogs and Twitter is managed and where necessary restricted. Such policy should be widely publicised to staff, patients and visitors and should be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary.

REC 10. All NHS hospital trusts should ensure that arrangements and processes for the recruitment, checking, general employment and training of contract and agency staff are consistent with their own internal HR processes and standards and are subject to monitoring and oversight by their own HR managers.

REC 11. NHS hospital trusts should review their recruitment, checking, training and general employment processes to ensure they operate in a consistent and robust manner across all departments and functions and that overall responsibility for these matters rests with a single executive director.

REC 12. NHS hospital trusts and their associated NHS charities should consider the adequacy of their policies and procedures in relation to the assessment and management of the risks to their brand and reputation, including as a result of their associations with celebrities and major donors, and whether their risk registers adequately reflect such risks.

REC 13. Monitor, the Trust Development Authority, the Care Quality Commission and NHS England should exercise their powers to ensure that NHS hospital trusts,(and where applicable, independent hospital and care organisations), comply with recommendations 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11.

REC 14. Monitor and the Trust Development Authority should exercise their powers to ensure that NHS hospital trusts comply with recommendation 12.

The full report can be found on the website.

Next steps

We will continue to work closely with the Department of Health and relevant professional bodies to support employers to understand the implications of this report in relation to workforce practice. It will be important to consider all of the learning and we will review our materials and guidance in light of both the Freedom to Speak Up report and the lessons learnt report.  Further information will be provided as soon as it comes available, with updates communicated through our NHS Workforce Bulletin at the earliest opportunity.

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