Cambridgeshire man in Papworth same time as Duke of Edinburgh questions security ‘lock down’ and disruption
A CAMBRIDGESHIRE man in hospital at Papworth at the same time as Prince Philip believe bosses over reacted and that “the stress his visit caused to patients and staff and visitors was way over the top.”
The 52 year-old man, in a letter to the Cambs Times, claims doctors were being turned away from duty “because they did not have their passes with them.”
He said: “I was also told that at least one nurse who had left her pass at home was not allowed on site and had to drive home to collect it.”
The patient said that upon the Duke of Edinburgh’s arrival “his helicopter was landed in the playing fields of Papworth and from there he had a police escort for the very short trip to the hospital grounds.
“The escort consisted of one police car then an ambulance with him on board followed by another police car. Behind that was a paramedic vehicle which was followed by I what I would assume to be a Royal Protection Range Rover.
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“It was at that point the hospital went into lock-down mode, I was able to wander outside for some fresh air, and the hospital security team were at this point instructing the BBC and press to park there vehicles where the staff would normally park.
“I can tell you this did not go down to well with the staff, as I clearly overheard them talking about it.”
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Security was tight, says the patient, and nurses were asked for lists of all the names of patients on a ward even though this took time away from their regular duties.
“The whole hospital was in my opinion taken over by this one man,” he said.
“The road to one of the best heart and lung hospitals in the country was closed, everyone was thoroughly scrutinised before being able to visit loved ones.
“Let’s face it if you’re in Papworth one has to be very sick, and with Christmas the added stress of going though the security to me would have been just too much.
“Prince Philip was in a ward called the Varrier Jones so why not just lock-down that ward, without affecting the rest of the hospital?”
He added: “It seemed like almost all of Cambridgeshire police force had gathered around Papworth. I personally had never seen so many police in one place before. “I think it needs to be noted that the stress this visit caused to patients and staff and visitors was way over the top.
“I would also like to wish Prince Philip well, and would not want to deprive him or anybody of the excellent first class service Papworth hospital has to offer to very sick people.
“I say this with a very strong passion for the hospital as there is no doubt the hospital has saved my life, and still offers me a first class service to this day.”
A spokesman for Papworth Hospital said: “We are very pleased that your reader is so supportive of the care that Papworth Hospital provided for him whilst he was a patient at the same time as HRH Prince Philip, and wish him well.
“We are not in a position to comment on security arrangements for members of the Royal family. These would need to be discussed with Buckingham Palace and the police.”