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Hospital restricts visiting access to Alfie Evans in response to ‘Alfie’s Army’ protests

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Alfie Evans' dad Tom gives a press conference outside Alder Hey hospital April 13, 2018.
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Alfie Evans and his parents Tom and Kate. Action4Alfie.com

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LIVERPOOL, England, April 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The father of Alfie Evans just revealed a letter notifying him that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is restricting the number of people who can visit his son.

Tom Evans displayed and discussed the letter in a video posted to Facebook. It is signed by Chief Nurse Hilda Gwilliams.

It claims that on Thursday night, protests on Alfie’s behalf “caused significant disruption, stress and anxiety to other families and the staff.” This “disruption” allegedly included a large number of visitors entering the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) without permission, shouting, filming patients and visitors without their consent, and generally “behaving in a manner” other patients and staff considered “threatening, intimidating and unsafe.”

READ: Alfie Evans’ ‘army’ shows up outside hospital demanding baby’s release

As a result, it said, Alder Hey was restricting visitation rights to Alfie’s parents and two named friends or relatives. Previously, a total of six other visitors was permitted. The letter also forbade filming others without their consent.

“If you fail to act in accordance with these conditions and continue to demonstrate what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour,” the letter threatened, “I will have no choice but to consider a further review of visiting arrangements.”

In the video, Evans denied the letter’s accusation. “There was no seriousness,” he said, pointing out that no police charges had been filed against Alfie’s supporters. “This is a tactic” in retaliation for his press conference, he maintained.

As for the reduction of visitors, he noted that he alone had nine siblings, as well as his parents and numerous cousins, aunts, and uncles. Alfie’s mother Kate James has multiple relatives, as well.

He also pointed out that the letter forbids Alfie’s parents from sleeping in Alfie’s room, despite the fact that they have done so for several weeks.

“Do you understand what we’re dealing with, what these people are doing to us?” Evans asked. Later in the video, he showed Alfie sleeping peacefully, as well as a glimpse of a police officer watching his room from across the hall.


Alfie timeline


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LETTER TRANSCRIPT:

Dear Ms. James and Mr. Evans

I would like to acknowledge what a very difficult time this is for you and your family. The staff at Alder Hey are committed to caring for all of our patients and families, and their priority is to protect and ensure the welfare and safety of all our patients, visitors and staff at all times.

On the evening of Thursday 12 April 2018 Alder Hey experienced significant disruption, Particularly on the Paediatric Intensive care Unit (PICU), due to a large protest in support of your son Alfie. A significant number of family and friends entered the PICU at once and caused significant disruption, stress and anxiety to other families and the staff. As you are aware, it is the PICU policy that parents can visit at any time (apart from protected handover time 1900-1930), and six named family members or friends can also visit. The PICU visiting policy states that only two visitors can be present at any time, and parents only after 2000 at night. It is expected that all visitors will behave in a respectful manner.

It is alleged that on the evening of 12 April 2018 a large number in excess of ten of your family and friends entered the PICU all at once and that the behaviour of those visitors was unacceptable. It is alleged that they were shouting in general, shouting over your son Alfie in his cubicle, abusive, filming other patients and visitors, filming staff, and behaving in a manner which was felt to be threatening, intimidating and unsafe by other parents and by our staff.

Behaviour such as this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This Trust is firmly of the view that all those who work in provider services to the NHS have the right to do so without fear of violence or abuse. Acceptable behaviour has been discussed with you previously by the doctors and nurses working on PICU.

I would urge you to consider and reflect on the impact that the behaviour of your visitors had on other families and staff caring for both your son Alfie and the other critically ill children on PICU.

Due to the seriousness of the events on 12 April 2018, visiting will henceforth be restricted to yourselves as parents and two other named and identified family members or friends. No other family member or friend will be permitted onto the PICU. The two named and identified visitors of your choice cannot be interchanged in that you cannot have two members one day and another two family members on another day. The Trust regrets having to take this course of action however we feel we have been left with no other option in the interest of the welfare and safety of all our patients, families and staff.

In respect to the allegation that other children, families and staff were filmed, neither yourselves nor the two identified visitors are permitted to film the staff without their consent, or permitted to film on the PICU as there is the risk that other children and families may be filmed inadvertently. You can of course continue to film your son Alfie.

As previously discussed, you cannot sleep in the PICU at night as there is no overnight facility. You can of course visit your son Alfie overnight.

If you fail to act in accordance with these conditions and continue to demonstrate what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour, I will have no choice but to consider a further review of visiting arrangements.

I trust that you will comply with the actions that we have deemed necessary and appropriate in the best interests of all our children, families, and staff.

Yours sincerely
Hilda Gwilliams
Chief Nurse



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