Man Wanted By Police After Entering Hospital And Trying To Take Patient From Ward
| Last updated
A man is wanted by police after he was filmed entering a hospital and trying to discharge a seriously ill Covid patient.
Tobe Hayden-Leigh, 45, was forcibly removed from the respiratory care unit at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill after he burst in and attempted to discharge the patient against the doctor's wishes.
A clip shared on social media showed Hayden-Leigh shouting abuse as he was dragged from the unit after he made attempts to get the patient out, who seemingly wanted to leave.
Now police have issued an appeal to speak to Hayden-Leigh in relation to the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey said: "We would like to speak to Hayden-Leigh in connection with this incident, and the escalating abusive and threatening comments being made towards hospital staff on social media.
"These comments are extremely concerning, and are obviously causing considerable distress for those who are being targeted.
"The staff at the hospital, as are all NHS workers, are trying to care for desperately-ill people in extremely challenging circumstances, and to be targeted and abused on social media in this way is simply unacceptable."
The DCI also stressed that as Hayden-Leigh had been in contact with a Covid-positive person he could also have contracted the virus himself and may present a health risk.
Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey added: "We also need to track Hayden-Leigh down as a matter of urgency due to the public health risk he poses.
"He came into close proximity with a patient who remains seriously ill with Covid and may well have contracted the virus himself.
"We are appealing for any information and any help we can get from the public to find this man so that we can deal with him appropriately."
In a statement shortly after the incident, 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."