When aircraft engineer Sergeant Mark Prendeville was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (QEQM) Hospital in Kent for treatment following chemicals accidentally being blown in to his eyes he had no idea that his uniform would cause such controversy. He was twice moved during his time receiving treatment in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) ward because hospital staff were reportedly afraid that his combat fatigues might offend patients of other cultures.
This sparked outrage from the South East Brigade of the Britain First nationalist group who quickly protested outside the hospital. They issued a statement on their website which read;
Recently, a hospital in Kent sparked outrage after 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. Last night, activists from Britain First in the South East held a demonstration outside the hospital and also inside the A&E unit. Our activists issued a stiff warning to the hospital not to treat our Armed Forces servicemen in the same way again.
The hospital responded by claiming their actions were misinterpreted by the protesters stating that the decision to relocate Sergeant Prendeville was more for his own sake since the hospital had reported incidents of abuse towards uniformed service personnel in the past. The police were called to the hospital after staff began receiving threatening phone calls but it is unclear if these calls were made by the Britain First protesters. No arrests at the hospital have been reported.