AN investigation into Jimmy Savile’s abuse of patients at hospitals in Leeds has been joined by Ray Galloway, the detective who led the hunt for missing York chef Claudia Lawrence.

Mr Galloway retired last month as a detective superintendent with North Yorkshire Police, with the mystery over Claudia’s disappearance in 2009 unsolved.

The 35-year-old Heworth woman vanished on March 18 after failing to arrive for her 6am shift at the University of York.

The case is being treated as suspected murder, and Mr Galloway said on retiring that the core team of officers who had worked on the investigation would carry on, and he was confident they would find out what happened to Claudia.

A national report by Scotland Yard and the NSPCC into Jimmy Savile’s crimes last month revealed that 16 people had now alleged they were abused at Leeds General Infirmary by the “prolific, predatory sex offender,” who worked as a hospital porter.

A former York nurse, June Thornton, has told previously how she tried in vain to blow the whistle on Savile in 1972, when she witnessed him molest a woman patient at LGI, where she was undergoing treatment.

Now Maggie Boyle, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has revealed that Mr Galloway has been appointed to undertake an investigation into Savile’s actions at the hospital and interview witnesses in the case.

A trust spokesman said Mr Galloway had started work and a report on the results of the investigation was expected towards the end of the year.

Martin Dales, a spokesman for Claudia’s father Peter, said he wished Mr Galloway the best of luck with his endeavours in Leeds.