Statement from NHA Party co-leader, Dr Richard Taylor:

“It’s sickening to read what Jimmy Savile did and how he was allowed to get away with it. It’s hard to legislate against depraved behaviour but it’s clear that had better procedures been in place, his disgusting activities would have been stopped at a much earlier date once people within the NHS began having suspicions about him and he would have been brought to justice while still alive.

This horrific case highlights the ongoing and urgent need for an improved NHS complaints process and support for whistle blowers. Unless we act now, we can’t rule out another Jimmy Savile scandal in the future.

In 2009, I was a member of the Commons Health Committee which issued a report into Patient Safety, in which we pressed for a Health and Disability Commissioner similar to a post that exists in New Zealand. This role would have overseen an independent complaints system and acted as an advocate for patients and staff.  It would have been somewhere for people to go if they were not satisfied with how their complaint had been dealt with. This would include patients, staff and whistle blowers. Our important work was unfortunately disregarded by the outgoing Labour government and not picked up by the Coalition. 

I have two meetings with current MPs in July about the NHS complaints process and I will be bringing this up as well as my Private Members Bill on support for whistle blowers.”