A PATIENT suffering from severe sickness was threatened with police action by Southend Hospital security staff, for charging her phone in A&E.

Tracey Murfitt, 47, from Leigh, suffers from gastro neuropathy, which causes severe sickness, and was taken to hospital by ambulance on Thursday, April 10, at about 2pm.

She had to wait in the ambulance outside the hospital for half an hour before she was checked in and put in a wheelchair in the busy waiting room.

Ms Murfitt plugged her phone in to charge so she could call a friend to tell her she was at the hospital.

She said: “All of a sudden I was approached by security staff telling me they were going to call the police for stealing hospital electricity.

“I couldn’t believe it.

"It was absolutely diabolical. They said I could use a hospital phone, but I had to charge mine to get the number.

“I was in so much pain, I just wanted to lie down and relax.

“After a few hours without treatment, I got so fed up, I managed to call my daughter’s mother-in-law who came and collected me.”

The sickness did not abate though and Ms Murfitt returned to A&E two days later and was admitted to the renal ward.

Ms Murfitt underwent a double kidney transplant six years ago and is a regular patient on the ward.

A hospital statement said: “We are sorry Ms Murfitt is unhappy with the service she received and we invite her to contact us directly to talk about her concerns.”