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Southend hospice investigating apparent staff comments
HAVENS Hospice has apologised and launched an investigation after a member of staff appeared to threaten to withhold a bed from a critic of its application for a new building on green belt land.
The hospice has apologised after a Facebook user calling herself Nicki Smith, who is a junior member of staff, said a man who criticised the charity’s decision to appeal Southend Council’s refusal of its application for a new £15 million facility off Belton Way West, Leigh, would be unwelcome to a hospice bed.
The Facebook user insulted Barry Jones, of Leigh, using a sexual obscenity after he said the charity was wasting donating funds by appealing the decision, then said: “i’ll remember that if yr name ever comes up on th referral board and theres only 1 bed left eh...u won’t be welcome[sic]”
Mr Jones said: “I was surprised and disappointed. It shows them in a bad light.
“If that’s an example of their attitude, it’s a little self-serving. It’s not what you would expect.”
Hospice boss Andy Smith said: “We are shocked and appalled that a member of our staff appears to have acted in this way.
“There has been much debate about our plans to build a new hospice, and we have been open to listening to all views, but offensive comments, including abuse and threats to deny access to care are completely unacceptable. We are carrying out a full and immediate investigation, and will take appropriate action to deal with this.
“Patients in need of a bed at the hospice are assessed on their clinical needs only, by a team of specialist nurses and doctors. We do not discriminate.
“On behalf of the organisation, I must extend our unreserved apology to Mr Jones and to those offended by the content in question.”