Internet ban on Leeds hospital kids’ ward EXCLUSIVE

OUTRAGED: Philip Wilson with his grandson Jack Huddart who accessed the 'inappropriate' image. PIC: Steve Riding
OUTRAGED: Philip Wilson with his grandson Jack Huddart who accessed the 'inappropriate' image. PIC: Steve Riding
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Internet access has been removed from bedside screens on a Leeds children’s ward after a five-year-old saw an ‘inappropriate image’.

Jack Huddart was playing with the console at Leeds General Infirmary when he accessed the photograph.

His outraged granddad Philip Wilson also saw the picture, of a scantily clad woman, before he managed to clear the screen.

Now staff have taken internet access off all the combined television and computer screens on the ward and an investigation is being held.

Mr Wilson said: “It’s just not acceptable on a kids’ ward.”

Jack was on ward L52 after suffering a severe asthma attack and developing pneumonia.

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The youngster, from Chapel Allerton, Leeds, was playing with the touch screen console when he inadvertantly clicked on a search for the former prime minister’s wife Cherie Blair which brought up the photo.

Mr Wilson said the photo showed a bikini-clad woman, on which Mrs Blair’s head had been superimposed, in a suggestive pose.

The 48-year-old then realised that internet searches for ‘Jodie Marsh nude pictures’ were also visible on the screen.

He said: “I was disgusted. I couldn’t believe it.

“You’ve got the stress of your grandson in hospital and then something like this comes up.

“These should not be accessible to anyone in a hospital.”

Another parent said she accidentally accessed explicit images of model Jodie Marsh on her son’s bedside screen. Jacqueline Honey said she was relieved that her four-year-old son Tommie had not seen them.

Mrs Honey, of Swarcliffe, Leeds, said: “The last place you’d think your child would be in danger from the internet is in their hospital bed. It’s wrong.”

When the parents complained to the ward sister, she immediately summoned staff from Hospedia, the private firm contracted to provide the service.

A spokeswoman for Hospedia said: “We take issues of this kind very seriously and subsuquently shut down access while the situation was investigated.

“We are sorry for any distress caused.”

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “We would never want any of our young patients to see any type of inappropriate images whilst in the hospital, and ward staff acted immediately when this issue was brought to their attention.

“We spoke to the family involved at the time and have sincerely apologised for any distress caused.

“The company who provide this interactive service for us were there in minutes and acted quickly to suspend internet access to the children’s wards and are looking into this fully to ensure we do not have a recurrence.”