Bosses at the children’s hospital where terminally-ill Alfie Evans is being treated have called for calm after a night of “significant disruption”.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, in Liverpool, on Thursday night, as his parents continued their fight for him to be discharged.
The 23-month-old boy’s parents want to take him to Italy for possible treatment for his rare degenerative brain disease but this plan was rejected by the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Justice.
A spokesman for the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation said: “Last night the hospital experienced significant disruption, due to a large protest concerning one of our patients.
“We wish to pay tribute to our amazing staff, who worked tirelessly under extremely difficult conditions to manage the implications of this disruption.
“Alder Hey is a special place with highly skilled staff who dedicate their lives to caring for and looking after thousands of sick and ill children every year.
“Our priority will always be to protect and look after the welfare of all patients and staff and to continue to provide outstanding care to our patients and families, which we know is recognised by colleagues across the NHS and in the wider public beyond.”
Alfie’s parents Tom Evans and Kate James, who are both in their 20s and from Liverpool, have been repeatedly told their rights as parents do not trump Alfie’s individual rights.
A video posted on Facebook features Alfie’s father Tom filming his son in the hospital and holding a letter which he says states he has the right to leave with his child.
The words “Christian Legal Centre” can be seen at the top of the letter.
“I have documentation that says I have the right to take my son out of the hospital, I have the right to take my son out of this hospital,” he says in the video.
Mr Evans said the documentation says he is allowed to leave legally, and that he has removed the duty of care and given it to their air ambulance company.
“Alder Hey phoned the police to murder my son,” he said.
“Alder Hey have phoned the police to stop me from taking my son out of the hospital. This is my son. Look at my healthy, healthy young boy who is undiagnosed, who is certainly not dying.”
During the nearly two-and-a-half minute clip he also encouraged people to come to the hospital to stand outside and “tell them to release our son” in a “quiet protest”.
He added: “They have phoned the police over a child… Look how innocent the boy is, look at him, he lies there eagerly waiting for his trip home.
“How can this come to this?”
Additional reporting by the Press Association