A mum who lost her newborn child has slammed as “disgusting” the way land containing memorials is being built on at a hospital.
The Royal Surrey County Hospital has started work to install a temporary laboratory close to the site of the Russell Memorial Garden where children who pass away at the hospital are buried or remembered.
With space at the memorial gardens at capacity some plastic plaques had to be placed by a rosebush next to the garden which the hospital said they needed to clear for “vital” building work, reported SurreyLive.
There has been an outcry over the decision as those with loved ones in the memorial garden say they were not consulted before the work took place.
One mum, who has a tribute to her son she lost more than 20 years ago still at the site, is furious with the hospital and says she has helped raise money to ensure the gardens do not become overgrown.
The plaques have been removed so as to make way for a temporary laboratory ( Image: Google)
She is most angry about the lack of consultation with parents who have tributes there, saying they could easily have been contacted.
But Royal Surrey said it had received consent from those directly affected to move the plaques from the memorial gardens.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It is just so disgusting, the baby’s plaques and the roses have been pulled up. If we don't stop something the next thing would be Russell’s garden and we’re not having it. Who told them they could do this?
“I’m on a parents’ Facebook group and no one knew about it. There’s no respect, it doesn't matter how old your child or baby is, you’ll never forget laying your baby to rest, I will never forget that day. You can’t just bulldoze that down because it’s not right.
The Royal Surrey said it had received consent from those directly affected to move the plaques from by the memorial gardens ( Image: Aldershot News and Mail – Grahame Larter)
“It’s the smallest piece of land and you can't tell me they couldn’t have put the building land somewhere other than where memorials are for babies? There’s been a lack of communication and a lack of respect.”
In response to the complaints, Louise Stead, chief executive of the hospital, said the temporary building would be a radiology and cardiac lab with a survey of the hospital’s grounds finding the site as the only suitable area. The plaques will now be moved to the memorial garden as part of a service overseen by the hospital chaplain.
She told SurreyLive: “I would like to reassure everyone that the Russell Memorial Garden will be completely protected and memorial plaques or ashes buried within this area will be unaffected.
“Over the years, five plaques have been placed in an area adjacent to the Russell Memorial Garden. To facilitate some vital building work, these plaques will be moved into the dedicated memorial garden, after a service carried out by our chaplain. We have contacted those who are directly affected and no concerns have been raised.
“The new building, being constructed next to the Russell Memorial Garden, is vitally important to maintain and improve patient safety and services.”