Protests have continued overnight at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in London over the case of Alfie Evans.
Alder Hey Hospital are currently providing care for Alfie Evans, a 22-month-old, who has a degenerative neurological condition which has left him severely brain damaged.
Alfie’s parents are currently looking at transferring Alfie to a hospital Rome where they claim his treatment for the unknown condition can continue.
The protesters, known as “Alfie’s Army”, are in support of Alfie being released from the care of Alder Hey Hospital and transferred to the facility in Italy.
But, Mr Justice Hayden ruled last night that Alfie cannot be removed from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital pending the hearing before a Court of Appeal decision on Monday.
Initially, the trust said that protests were “peaceful” but have since released a statement outlining that a small number of supporters ‘negatively impacted’ on other patients, families and staff at Alder Hey.
A spokesperson for Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said; “We do understand that this is a very distressing time for Alfie’s parents and realise that there is a great deal of public interest in this matter.
“Alfie’s clinical condition is truly heart rending, but at each stage of the legal process which has to be followed in such cases, the courts have agreed with the treating team and the independent expert advisors instructed by the Trust and the family that Alfie’s condition is irreversible and untreatable.
“All treatable conditions have been diagnosed. All the experts agree that it will not assist Alfie to subject him to further tests in order to identify a diagnosis.
“As part of that process his parents are making further appropriate representations to the Court of Appeal to present their views.
“Last night Mr Justice Hayden ordered that Alfie cannot be removed from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital pending the hearing before the Court of Appeal on Monday.
“We trust that the public and supporters of Alfie’s parents will respect that decision and allow the staff caring for Alfie and all other children and families at Alder Hey to continue their duties without interference and disturbance.
“Unfortunately, the action taken last night and the behaviour of a small minority of supporters impacted very negatively on other patients, families and staff at Alder Hey.
“We would therefore be grateful if all respect and consideration is shown to all our staff, patients and families at the hospital.
“Our priority continues to provide Alfie and all our other children with the best care possible.”
Earlier in the week, the trust made the following statement after the protests caused “significant disruption” to its service; “the hospital experienced significant disruption, due to a large protest concerning one of our patients.
“We wish to pay tribute to our amazing staff, who worked tirelessly under extremely difficult conditions to manage the implications of this disruption.
“Alder Hey is a special place with highly skilled staff who dedicate their lives to caring for and looking after thousands of sick and ill children every year.
“Our priority will always be to protect and look after the welfare of all patients and staff and to continue to provide outstanding care to our patients and families, which we know is recognised by colleagues across the NHS and in the wider public beyond.”
NMC apologises after misleading Morecambe Bay investigators
Up to 19 babies and mothers died between 2004 and 2012 as a result of mistakes by staff.
The regulator has apologised over how it handled a Fitness to Practice investigation.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has apologised over how it handled a Fitness to Practice (FtP) investigation following the tragic death of newborn Joshua Titcombe at Morecambe Bay.
The report was initially commissioned by Jeremy Hunt, the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, after up to 19 babies and mothers died at the hospital between 2004 and 2012 as a result of mistakes by the staff of its maternity unit.
Jackie Smith, the former Chief Executive and Registrar of the NMC, resigned on the eve of the PSA report.
‘Incorrect and misleading statements’.
Investigators highlighted concerns over a chronology that was submitted as evidence by Joshua’s parents. They commented that they regulator failed to include the chronology in the evidence gathering process and also failed to “consider and understand the significance of this evidence and its relevance to a central issue in the case.”
The NMC then went on to make “incorrect and misleading statements” to Joshua’s parents, the PSA and the Secretary of State for Health about how it handled and reviewed the chronology.
Verita also commented that the regulator failed to treated witnesses “with the respect and sensitivity they deserved”.
Investigator on to recommend that the “NMC should make it a priority to ensure that it treats families and patients with respect and is honest and open with them” and “ensure that Panel Chairs are fully briefed about the importance of showing respect to bereaved relatives, perhaps by using this example as a case study.”
The total cost of Verita’s report was £151,742.22.
‘I am very sorry’.
Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, the current NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “Throughout these fitness to practise cases the way we treated Mr Titcombe and his family was unacceptable. Our actions made an awful situation much worse and I am very sorry for that. I am also very sorry that our communications with Mr Titcombe, the PSA and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care contained incorrect and misleading information about our handling of this evidence.”
“This investigation highlights a number of failings at the NMC at that time. We did not properly understand the significance of this important piece of evidence, in particular to Mr Titcombe and his family, and we did not put it before the panel when we should have done. This reflected a culture at the NMC at that time that prioritised process over people.”
“Since the events at Morecambe Bay we have made significant changes, including much improved record keeping, the introduction of a new public support service, and additional training for panel members to help them better understand the needs of witnesses.
Hospital charity launches Christmas gift appeal for patients
Those wishing to help the campaign can buy a gift or donate online.
The Send a Smile with Santa campaign delivers presents to patients who are unable to celebrate Christmas at home.
A campaign to deliver more than 1,000 gifts for inpatients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Christmas Day has begun.
The N&N Hospitals Charity’s Send a Smile with Santa campaign delivers presents donated by the public to patients, both young and old, who are unable to celebrate Christmas at home with their families.
Donations can also be dropped off by Sunday 8 December at the West Atrium Inpatient reception, Cromer Hospital, the Archant offices on Rouen Road, Norwich, and Greater Anglian Norwich Railway Station Customer Service.
The charity says that any donated presents should remain unwrapped so staff can ensure that presents are individually tailored for each patient, as well as protecting against potential infection.
‘Overwhelmed by kindness’.
Prof Nancy Fontaine, NNUH Chief Nurse, said: “We were overwhelmed by the kindness of people last year and we were able to deliver a lovely present to each of our patients.
“Nobody wants to spend time in hospital, and Christmas is so often a special time for people to be with family, and this is why we like to do something to make it a little nicer for our patients.
“We really hope that the people of Norfolk will once again support our appeal and help put a smile of the faces of our patients during the festive period.”
Louise Cook, Head of Fundraising at NNUH, added: “We know from our patients how lovely and unexpected it is to receive a gift on Christmas Day. They don’t need to be expensive gifts – toiletries, puzzle books, chocolates or socks are always greatly received.
“We have heard from people who would like to donate a gift but are unable to get out, so we this year we have an Amazon Wish List with small items which can be purchased and will be delivered directly to us, or a JustGiving page where a donation can be made and we will use that to purchase a gift for a patient.”
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