Man Removed From Hospital After Trying To Discharge Sick Covid-19 Patient
Tobe Hayden Leigh shouted abuse as he was dragged out of the acute respiratory care unit of the East Surrey Hospital in Redhill, after he snuck into the building to attempt to get a person who apparently wanted to leave.
Leigh entered the building and filmed a team of medical staff - who were, let's not forget, performing potentially lifesaving care on the patient - and insisted that they discharged him, despite one doctor telling him that he could 'drop dead at any minute'.
He insisted that he is the man's friend and asked that the patient be taken off oxygen, despite all medical evidence to the contrary, and repeatedly ignored requests to leave over a 20 minute confrontation.
When Mr Leigh was told that he was putting his health and the health of others at risk by being in the ward, and especially by not wearing a mask, he simply said: "It's our own risk".
The patient, who was struggling to breathe, removed the oxygen and asked to leave the hospital, but was told that he would die if he did so.
Then, the ringleader of the group, who repeatedly claimed that he was exempt from wearing a mask, asked staff whether Covid-19 was even 'proven to exist' despite being on a ward where many were fighting the virus.
Eventually, he was removed from the ward by security.
When the doctor warned that the patient could die if he removed the oxygen tube, he said: "Yeah, so you keep saying, let's go."
Mr Leigh accused the hospital staff of 'lying' about his condition and leaving his family without information.
The doctor said: "My main concern is his safety and at the moment you are making him unsafe. He's taken his oxygen off, he's going to die if we don't put it back on."
The patient responded: "No I'm not."
In an appeal to the patient's family, and after refusing to discuss further until the oxygen tube went back in - which it eventually did - the doctor said: "You're not respecting our wishes by coming inside. You're going to spread Covid around."
Mr Leigh insisted: "We're fine."
The patient added: "What about my wishes?"
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The doctor then pointed out his low oxygen levels and said: "He's at risk of dropping dead any minute."
He then continued: "He has coronavirus pneumonia affecting both of his lungs. He's on steroids called dexamethasone. He's on antibiotics to treat concurrent bacterial infections."
That's when the security guards arrives and started to forcibly remove him.
Mr Leigh shouted: "I'm an officer of the court. I'm putting you on notice, if you put one hand on me and touch me I'll be doing you for assault."
However, the patient and Leigh maintained that they wanted to leave, and Leigh began to rant about coronavirus conspiracy theories.
Eventually, he was hauled out by the security guards.
A spokesperson for Surrey Police said: "Officers were called by East Surrey Hospital on Saturday, January 23, reporting concerning social media posts which included videos and abusive comments towards hospital staff made over the course of two days which appeared to be escalating.
"On investigation, this related to an earlier incident where police were called to the hospital on Thursday, January 21, around 1.55pm following reports that a number of people had gained access to the critical care ward to visit a family member and were not wearing masks.
"They were reported to be abusive towards hospital staff when they were asked to comply with the instruction to wear a face covering. They also refused to leave when asked to do so.
"Officers issued fines to two individuals involved for breaching Covid restrictions and issued a breach of the peace warning which resulted in the group leaving the location.
"An investigation is under way into the videos and comments which are being posted on social media, and enquiries remain ongoing."
East Surrey Chief Inspector Kimball Edey added: "The escalation of this incident, with the abusive comments being directed at the hospital on social media, is extremely concerning, and further enquiries into this matter are ongoing.
"These comments are obviously causing considerable distress for the staff at the hospital and we are doing everything we can to ensure that those responsible are identified and located.
"When we attended the hospital last week, it transpired that a number of people visiting a patient were not wearing face masks, and fines were issued to two of them.
"We have continued to maintain our 4Es approach towards any breaches of current covid regulations - explaining, encouraging and educating and only enforcing when we are faced with a flagrant breach of the rules as a last resort - since the start of the first lockdown.
"Unfortunately, there is a small minority of people who do not understand or refuse to appreciate the seriousness of the impact of the pandemic.
"To gain access to a critical care ward without taking the proper precautions not only puts themselves at risk, but also the lives of other people and the hospital staff who are trying to care for seriously ill patients, at risk as well.
"To then become abusive and threatening towards the staff who are trying to treat these vulnerable patients under extremely challenging conditions defies belief and is simply reprehensible.
"Thankfully, the vast majority of Surrey residents are complying with the lockdown regulations, and we thank them for that, but we will not hesitate to take action when we are faced with such an extreme and blatant disregard for these rules."
Featured Image Credit: Tobe Hayden Leigh
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