Hospital trust apologies to blind historian, 34, after she and her sick daughter were denied entry by a security guard because she was accompanied by her guide dog
- Security stopped Dr Amy Kavanagh, 34, at West Middlesex University Hospital
- The trust has now issued an apology to the historian after the incident
A hospital trust has issued an apology to a blind woman after she and her sick daughter were stopped from entering a hospital because she was accompanied by her guide dog.
Historian Dr Amy Kavanagh says she was stopped by security at the West Middlesex University Hospital as she attempted to take her child inside with her guide dog, Ava in tow.
Dr Kavanagh, 34, later revealed that Ava wears a ‘huge sign’ and has ‘multiple labels’ on her to identify her as a guide dog.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, she wrote: ‘Tonight a hospital security guard tried to stop me entering urgent care with @GuideDogAva & my poorly baby.
‘We kept walking after firmly saying ‘this is a guide dog’.
Dr Kavanagh, 34, said Ava wears a ‘huge sign’ and has ‘multiple labels’ on her to identify her as a guide dog
Dr Kavanagh said her baby, who had a viral infection, will recover with ‘plenty of cuddles and a bit of Calpol’
‘Very grateful to the members of the public who also shouted him down and the nurse on the reception who had words.
‘As a mother with an ill child I should not have to also deal with the additional fear and stress of an access refusal because of my guide dog. The law has existed for over 25 years. There is no excuse for staff, including third-party contractors, in public service to be unaware’, she added.
‘Ava wears a huge sign and multiple labels stating she is a guide dog’.
‘It’s exhausting constantly dealing with this in the NHS’, she said. ‘If you work in healthcare, have conversations with your security teams and educate them about assistance dogs’.
Her daughter had a viral infection but Dr Kavanagh, who regularly posts online about her experiences and is a campaigner, said she ‘will recover with plenty of cuddles and a bit of Calpol’.
Dr Kavanagh regularly posts on social media about her experiences and is a campaigner
Historian Dr Amy Kavanagh says she was stopped by security at the West Middlesex University Hospital as she attempted to take her child inside with her guide dog, Ava in tow
A spokeswoman for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said that they had reached out to Dr Kavanagh and the issue had been ‘raised at the highest levels’ of the trust.
‘We are taking this incident seriously, our organisation is fully committed to providing accessible services for everyone in our community, in a safe and welcoming environment,’ she said.
‘We have contacted the patient to offer our sincere apologies and importantly, to ensure that appropriate action will take place following an immediate internal review.’
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