Evidence and Consultations

Historians’ evidence features in Savile ‘lessons learned’ report

Kate Lampard QC and Ed Marsden’s ‘lessons learnt’ report from the NHS investigations into Jimmy Savile drew on the expertise of H&P historians to inform understanding of his abuse and to draw lessons for today.

In releasing the report in February 2015, Themes and lessons learnt from NHS investigations into matters relating to Jimmy Savile, Lampard referred to differences in social attitudes and deference, hospital management structures, awareness of abuse and media culture between then and now. That is not to say the circumstances that allowed Savile to act have disappeared, the report makes clear, citing 14 recommendations relating to: security and access arrangements (including celebrity and VIPs); the role and management of volunteers; safeguarding: raising complaints and concerns; fundraising and charity governance; and the observance of due process and good governance.

The report authors were conscious of the historical nature of events: 

The need to take account of the historical background to the events and issues arising in the Savile investigations prompted us to commission History & Policy to put on a discussion event for the main NHS investigation team leads and us. We wanted to gain evidence and understanding of the historical culture and circumstances that would have influenced Savile’s behaviour and how others responded to him. We also wanted to gain insight how the culture and circumstances in question have altered over time so that we could identify the lessons that today’s NHS should draw from the Savile affair.

Eight H&P historians presented research relevant to the NHS investigations and Lampard's overview at a discussion event at King’s College London in May 2013. In section 7 of their report, Lampard and Marsden summarise the evidence presented by historians, which can be found here: http://www.historyandpolicy.org/consultations/consultations/jimmy-savile-investigations 


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H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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