‘I was left bruised by hospital guards’

Julie Hurst
Julie Hurst

A WOMAN claims security staff at Wigan Infirmary caused bruising to her arm after they “man-handled” her out of the ward.

Julie Hurst, of Hindley, had visited the hospital in a bid to get answers about her beloved mother’s death earlier this year.

Julie Hurst with her injuries

Julie Hurst with her injuries

The 53-year-old’s mum, Betty Lythgoe, died in March after being taken to hospital from her care home with suspected flu.

Since then Julie has become increasingly frustrated at what she describes as a lack of answers from doctors about the circumstances surrounding Mrs Lythgoe’s death.

Her grievance reached boiling point last week when she marched into Winstanley Ward demanding medical staff speak to her.

But hospital bosses instead called security, who ejected Julie from the building.

She said: “When I explained that I wanted answers about why my mum, Betty Lythgoe, died, the ward sister said I would need to speak to PALS. I said they were unable to help me and I wanted answers. So she called security. They came straight away and I refused to leave.

“I was not swearing or being aggressive - I just stood my ground.

“I can’t believe how I was treated. I had two big bruises on my arm. I informed the police but nothing has happened. There were no cameras, so it is my word against theirs.”

Julie’s initial complaint to Patient Relations alleged her 85-year-old mum was not given the right level of treatment.

She added: “The Trust would not give me a meeting, which was why I went to the ward to get answers.”

Julie reported her treatment at the hospital to police but officers say security guards acted legally.

Julie has sought the help of Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue, as well as Sir Ian McCartney through Healthwatch, who are looking into her concerns.

A spokesman for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) said: “We are unable to comment on Ms Hurst’s complaint (with regards to her mum’s death) as it is currently under police review. We are also unable to comment on Ms Hurst’s attendance on July 10, as this would be a breach of her confidentiality.”

The hospital actions mirror those of Wigan Council, who have banned Julie from their buildings and say they will ignore any letter she send them unless it is about new evidence relating to her mum’s death.

Julie added that she was unhappy she received a letter from Wigan Council’s social services saying she was unable to visit authority buildings and any subsequent letters would only be responded to if it related to a new concern.

Liv Bickerstaff, assistant director for early intervention and prevention at Wigan Council, said: “We appreciate this has been a very distressing time for Mrs Hurst.

“We do not take the decision lightly to limit the channels through which a customer can contact us but when continued unreasonable actions are tying up staff time and resources and depriving other customers of the council’s time and services we will take action.”

“Mrs Hurst’s complaint has been fully dealt with through the council’s procedures and through the Local Government Ombudsman which has said it will not investigate the matter further. We are satisfied we have offered Mrs Hurst everything we can including an additional independent investigation which we understand she has declined.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “A complaint was made, but officers were satisfied the security staff exercised common law powers to deal with a woman who was causing a disturbance.

“It was a lawful ejection, and we are satisfied there are no offences.”