Savile Licked Gateshead Nurse's Hand

26 February 2015, 16:10 | Updated: 26 February 2015, 16:17

Jimmy Savile licked a nurse's hand during a hospital visit in Gateshead but she did not report it to her bosses, an investigation found.

Other members of staff at Bensham Hospital recalled he kissed their hands and said he was ``tactile'' in full view of other people, but the staff ``did not think too much'' of the incidents at the time.

A ward sister he called ``Hattie Jacques'' - the plump actress whose films included Carry On Matron - did not complain although she was offended by the comment which made junior colleagues laugh.

The details emerged from an inquiry by bosses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead, after documents were found from a visit Savile made in 1990.

During an office move in 2013, staff found a box containing papers and photos taken when Savile visited Bensham Hospital.

After inquiries were made, it was established the DJ made a charity presentation during a two-hour visit where he handed over specialist chairs.

Savile met elderly patients and staff and was accompanied at all times, the investigation found.

Staff members did not complain at the time, but three matters have since emerged which would have required further investigation if they had occurred today.

A male auxiliary remembered a female nurse said Savile licked her hand. The inquiry team has been unable to trace her.

An official report into the visit said:
``The auxiliary nurse who reported this incident stated that he didn't think the nurse had been distressed by it, and had merely made a comment in passing about it to some of her colleagues."

``The members of staff who raised the issue of Jimmy Savile being tactile and kissing their hands stated that they did not report such incidents, as they did not think too much of them at the time."

``This behaviour was displayed in full view of the accompanying senior nursing and medical staff."

``The staff stated that they were aware of Jimmy Savile's personality from watching him on the television, and attributed his behaviour to his known 'eccentricity'.''

It added:
``With regard to the ward sister who was called 'Hattie Jacques' by Jimmy Savile in front of a number of other staff, that member of staff stated that she had been offended by the comment."

``This incident was also recounted to the investigating team by an auxiliary nurse, who overheard what had been said to the ward sister, as had a number of other staff."

``The ward sister felt that she had not reported the incident to anyone because other people, including junior staff, had heard what had been said to her and had just laughed."

``She felt that she had been disrespected in front of her staff and wanted to forget about it.''

Hilary Lloyd, director of nursing, midwifery and quality said:
``In 2013, during an office move, we found a storage box containing a number of documents including some photographs which appeared to have been taken during a visit by Jimmy Savile to Bensham Hospital (now part of QE Gateshead) sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s."

``After a full investigation we discovered that Jimmy Savile visited Bensham Hospital on one occasion as part of a charity presentation in March 1990. The visit lasted up to two hours where he presented the hospital with some specialist chairs and met staff and elderly patients."

``During this visit he was accompanied by senior hospital staff at all times and none of the witnesses recall seeing anything they considered inappropriate."

``There have been no specific allegations made by former patients or the public during this time.''