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NHS to be investigated over historic child sex abuse claims


The government has established an independent inquiry into the way public institutions including the NHS handled child sex abuse allegations.

The inquiry was announced by home secretary Theresa May in response to concern that agencies including the police, health and social services failed in their duty to safeguard children.

Home Office

Theresa May

It follows high profile cases including that of Jimmy Savile who preyed on victims at 28 NHS hospitals over a 50-year period.

“In recent years we have seen appalling cases of organised and persistent child sex abuse that have exposed serious failings by public bodies and important institutions,” said Ms May in a statement to the Commons.

“That is why the government has established an independent panel of experts to consider whether these organisations have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.”

The panel will include experts in the law and child protection and is to be chaired by retired senior judge Baroness Butler-Sloss.

Ms May said the panel was unlikely to report back before the next general election but would update parliament on progress before May next year.

Jimmy Savile

Jimmy Savile

She said the government would consider converting the probe into a full public inquiry if necessary.


Readers' comments (2)

  • When is an independent person an independent person? When the government and Whitehall tell you they are. Both of the people chosen by government to lead the reviews and inquiry into historical paedophile claims are basically establishment people through and through.
    In this respect a little information about Peter Wanless who will lead this review and although he is presently the CEO of the NSPCC he was previous to that for over a decade, a seasoned high-flying senior civil servant under both the Tories and Labour (incl. private secretary). Therefore his background is that of the 'Establishment' at the highest levels. Added to this he was boss of the Big Lottery Fund which was and still is overseen by no other than the Cabinet Office (those who run the civil service including the Home Office). So this so-called independent has 'Establishment' blood running through his veins (at the highest level again both for past political masters and Whitehall mandarins) and where the Establishment have looked after Mr. Wanless very, very well indeed. Therefore my advice is don't hold your breath for all the truth to emerge as that in government is as hard to find as a snowball in hell these days.
    In respect of Ann Butler-Sloss who will lead the inquiry is the sister of the late Sir Michael Havers (later Lord Havers) who was Attorney General whilst these allegations took place and where nothing was acted upon. This alone should bar her from this role and if there was any impropriety whilst her late brother was in charge, it may not look good for the family. But also Butler-Sloss is part of the establishment machine and the very people who she will be investigating. How can this be an impartial and independent inquiry therefore as the goal posts are being compromised already in many ways? Indeed lawyers who have brought cases before the Courts concerning pedophilia in the past cannot believe that she has been selected as previous controversies surround her. A few are (1) She turned down a man's legal battle for the right to see his test-tube baby daughter, who was conceived after his relationship with the mother broke up. (2) she has been a target for campaign groups like Fathers for Justice due to her decisions over custody of children after divorce battles. (3) She has heard many ''right to die'' cases where relatives are in a 'permanent vegetative state and refused all. Therefore is this a compassionate heart of the Establishment at its best. Visit 'The ‘Establishment’ Makes Amends but where the ‘Establishment’ does not change its spots when it comes to its own' -

    You could not make it up if your tried but where quite clearly the government and the protective establishment can.

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  • Establishment or not, if they are people of integrity they are suitable for the task. It should not even have been necessary if NHS staff had don,e what they are paid to do, be advocates for their patients, esp children who are so vulnerable and helpless. No excuses, no cover up or blaming the investigators background- admit we have failed. Failed in duty of candour, failed to protect people and even to care properly. We are a disgrace as a profession and unwilling to admit it.Vocal when it comes to low pay,but silent when people die prematurely due to neglect or are abused, even sexually abused

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