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Mum rages against unmasked Mongrel Mob members in hospital ICU

Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Jul 2023, 10:47am
Christchurch Hospital. Photo / George Heard
Christchurch Hospital. Photo / George Heard

Mum rages against unmasked Mongrel Mob members in hospital ICU

Otago Daily Times,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Jul 2023, 10:47am

A Southland mother is yet to receive an explanation or apology after Mongrel Mob gang members put her son’s life at risk while he was in an intensive care unit, she says.

Anne-Maree Thomas has now made a complaint to the Ombudsman in her bid to receive an explanation from the hospital.

Following a 15-hour operation in December, her son, a cancer patient, was recovering in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Christchurch Hospital when six female members of the public entered without wearing masks while visiting another patient.

The following day, several patched Mongrel Mob members arrived to visit the same patient, all without masks.

Thomas said she had since been made aware several of the visitors had verbally abused hospital staff.

“If they’d taken something up there, they could have wiped out the whole ICU.”

Thomas rang the hospital twice and the police three times.

“The police and the hospital didn’t do anything. Nothing. Just completely left it up to us,” Thomas said.

“When [gang members are] patched up walking around ... who wouldn’t be scared? I ended up having to go up to them to say ‘pull your horns in boys’.

“If the cops are too scared to do anything maybe they should look for another job and bring guys in that can.”

In January, she penned written complaints to both the police and Christchurch Hospital.

She said the police had replied to her complaint quickly, but she was yet to receive a response from the hospital despite also calling it several times.

“I want an explanation why my son’s life wasn’t worth fighting for. I spent nine months trying to keep my boy alive with chemo ... And what the hospital, the cops were telling me that my son’s life wasn’t worth worth jack s...”

While she was concerned about allowing the unmasked gang members in, her complaint was not with the medical staff as they were also verbally abused, she said.

A Te Whatu Ora spokesperson said the policy across its Canterbury facilities at that time was that all hospital visitors must wear a medical paper face mask.

“Staff reminded visitors of this policy. Our security team was also available to assist if necessary and those refusing to wear a mask were asked to leave.

“During any policy setting, police may be asked to attend the hospital due to incidents involving members of the public if required.

“We will not be making further comment on our security arrangements to protect our patients and our staff.”

Thomas’ complaint was now subject to a Health and Disability Commission investigation, the spokesperson said.

She said her son had been in the clear since the operation and credited the hospital staff for saving his life.

[email protected]

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