Why didn’t the po­lice come to aid of nurses?

COM­PLAINT: Let­ter sent to Chief Con­sta­ble af­ter nurses trapped

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Mike Ben­nett

Ag­i­tated

A DOC­TOR has writ­ten to Kent’s Chief Con­sta­ble Mike Fuller, ask­ing if a trav­ellers’ camp on the edge of Ash­ford is a no-go area for po­lice.

Mr Fuller has been asked to ex­plain why, de­spite call­ing for help, two dis­trict nurses were left trapped on the site at Chilm­ing­ton, Great Chart, for 90 min­utes af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a male pa­tient dead.

The nurses were on a rou­tine call last month to change dress­ings, when they found the pa­tient had died in his mo­bile home.

Fol­low­ing cor­rect pro­ce­dure, as the man had not been seen by a doc­tor re­cently, they called for po­lice to view the body, caus­ing rel­a­tives to be­come ag­i­tated.

When the nurses’ cars were blocked in to pre­vent them leav­ing the site, they di­alled 999 ask­ing for po­lice as­sis­tance which failed to ma­te­ri­alise.

They only man­aged to get out in an am­bu­lance, leav­ing their ve­hi­cles on the site. They then dis­cov­ered up to 30 po­lice of­fi­cers, with dogs and a he­li­copter, wait­ing near the Singleton shop­ping cen­tre. Al­though they were not threat­ened with phys­i­cal harm, the nurses, who col­lected their cars later, took time off work with stress. They are both now back work­ing.

Dr Ju­lian Colledge, from Ham­street Surgery, has writ­ten to po­lice ask­ing if there are no-go ar­eas for po­lice in Kent.

He said: “My staff and oth­ers within the pri­mary care trust must be pro­tected. How can health care be safely de­liv­ered if there is no re­sponse from po­lice when peo­ple feel at risk?

Blocked

“There may well have been grounds for mis­un­der­stand­ing as Ro­many fam­i­lies have ways of deal­ing with death and they like the de­ceased to stay in their homes un­til buried.

“But th­ese nurses were blocked in and pre­vented from leav­ing the site. There is a strong sense that the NHS prac­tice of zero tol­er­ance must be sup­ported by po­lice.”

A po­lice spokesman said it was not ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment on a private let­ter to the Chief Con­sta­ble.

The pa­tient was found to have died from nat­u­ral causes.

Dr John Colledge wants an­swers from Chief Con­sta­ble Mike Fuller

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