On the 12th December 2010 a Freedom of Information request was made to the Metropilitan Police Service regarding an earlier incident which occured on the 9th December where it is reported by the mother of Alfie Meadows (the man who police assulted earlier) that police officers attempted to deny access to medical treatment because Mr Meadows was a protestor. The mother of Mr Meadows recalls how the ambulance driver had refused to go to another hospital as he was instructed to because Alfie meadows required urgent medical attention. The mother said:
“The ambulance man took us to Chelsea and Westminster hospital. That [hospital] had been given over to police injuries and there was a standoff in the corridor. Alfie was obviously a protester and the police didn’t want him there, but the ambulance man insisted that he stayed.” She said that he was then asked to take Alfie to another hospital. “The ambulance man was appalled and he said: ‘I’m getting angry now, and I’m not going to do this.’ “The senior nurse in charge took us into a resuscitation room to keep us away from the police because, she said, they were finding it upsetting to see protesters in the hospital.”
The injury to Alfie, a second-year undergraduate at Middlesex University, is already the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Yesterday afternoon investigators interviewed Alfie at Charing Cross hospital in west London, where he was taken for surgery as his condition began to deteriorate. His mother, an English literature lecturer at Roehampton University, said that her son had made a good recovery after a three-hour operation. “The first thing Alfie said when he woke up was about how many other people had been hurt and how the police had been striking and bashing everyone. Any one of those kids there could have been Alfie. “I’m from the generation of Blair Peach [hit over the head by police at a London demonstration in 1979] and we knew that anyone could die if they were hit. He’s amazingly jolly now. I don’t know it that is from a sense of having survived or the morphine.”
Police have today responded to that Freedom of Information request which was made on the 12th December 2010 stating that a DPS investigation had disproved the claim made by Alfies mother that police officers had attempted to deny medical treatment.
The MPS Directorate of Professional Standards [DPS] has investigated claims that police denied a 20-year-old man, injured during the student protest of 9 December 2010, access to a hospital where injured officers were being treated. The investigation has found police played no part in denying the man access to the hospital and the claims have subsequently been disproved. The matter was between London Ambulance Service staff. We have informed the family’s solicitor of our finding. The DPS investigated the claims that officers denied the man access to the hospital, in response to widespread media coverage. To date, no complaint has been received. Commander Mark Simmons, head of the Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “This claim has been thoroughly investigated, and subsequently disproved. “The investigation was carried out in line with the MPS commitment to ensure that anyone found to fall below the very highest standards of professional behaviour is dealt with appropriately. “In the same way we would publicise if officers have been found to fall the below high standards required, it is only right that where allegations against police are disproven, we update on it.”
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have also denied that they refused to treat anyone but they have confirmend that Chelsea and Westminster Hosiptal was designated to receive “Service Personel” and that they did treat “civilians” also.
I write in response to your FoI request sent by email regarding decision to treat
ambulance patients on the 10th and 11th December.
All patients presenting by ambulance were seen and treated at Chelsea and Westminster
Hospital. It is correct that the hospital was designated to receive service personnel, however a
number of civilians, as well as police casualties, were treated here. All liaison with ambulance
crews as to where patients should be taken is carried out by London Ambulance Service staff.
Alfie Meadows was brought to the Trust by the London Ambulance Service and was treated
at the Trust.
The Trust is unable to comment on any communication that might have occurred between
LAS and specific ambulance crews regarding this specific patient, but he was accepted by the
Trust as soon as the ambulance driver made contact with hospital staff working in A&E.
This letter confirms the completion of this request. A log of this request will be held
on a database held by the Trust.
If you are unhappy with the response that you have received the first line of action
would be to write to request that the Trust undertakes an internal review of your
request. This can be done by contacting our Complaints Department at:- c/o
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust, 369 Fulham Road, London.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Chelsea and Westminster Freedom of Information Department.