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News by Fred Alan Medforth
Saturday, September 26, 2015
UK: Outrage as hospital moves injured RAF veteran out of A&E because he was wearing uniform
A hospital has sparked outrage after allegedly moving an injured RAF sergeant out of an A&E waiting room over fears his uniform would "upset" patients of other cultures.Aircraft engineer Mark Prendeville was put behind a corner by hospital staff after being injured during a training exercise.
His family was allegedly told by hospital workers that "they didn't want to upset people" and "have lots of different cultures coming in".
Veterans and military figures last night slammed the hospital's treatment of the sergeant, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Former chief of the air staff Sir Michael Graydon described the incident at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent as "disappointing".
He said: "Moving this man due to the danger of offending people strikes me as getting priorities wrong."And former RAF navigator Flt Lt John Nichol said he was "appalled".
He added: "This is horrifying, you should be treated differently for wearing a uniform.
"You should be lauded because you're wearing uniform, you should be celebrated for wearing uniform."Sgt Prendeville was training at RAF Manston, Kent when chemicals from a fire extinguisher got in to his eyes.
The 38-year-old was then rushed to hospital.
A spokesman for East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust apologised to Sgt Prendeville for "any embarrassment".
"A member of the armed forces in uniform attended our A&E and was asked by a member of staff if he wanted to sit inside the department rather than the waiting room."
"This employee was acting in good faith because previously, there had been an altercation between a member of the public and a different member of the armed forces in uniform." express