A man has lodged a complaint after Kingston Hospital shaved off his former sergeant major father’s 70-year-old moustache.
Ian Perkin said nurses forcibly shaved off the 86-year-old Ken’s moustache and then told him he was “lucky” to be receiving care at all, after Mr Perkin junior raised concerns.
After 12 weeks in hospital, Ken Perkin was finally discharged from Tolworth Hospital on Monday – but his son is still furious with his treatment in Kingston.
And he said if the shaving had occurred outside of the hospital, the perpetrator could have faced a jail sentence.
Ian Perkin, who works for Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley as chief finance officer, said: “In policing terms, removing somebody’s moustache against their will is assault.
“If I did that to somebody at a bus stop, I’d probably get six months.”
Ken Perkin was admitted to hospital in February following a fall at his home – a granny annex built on to the side of his son’s house in Morden Green Avenue, Worcester Park.
He was taken first to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, before being transferred to Kingston two weeks later.
Although he was meant to be moved to Tolworth Hospital almost immediately, he spent five weeks in Kingston due to several hospital acquired infections, Mr Perkin said.
It was there, on April 3, that Ian visited his father to find his moustache – which he had worn since he was sergeant major in the Army almost 70 years ago – had been removed.
But after raising concerns with the ward matron, Mr Perkin claims his father was threatened by a nurse unhappy with the complaint.
Ian Perkin said: “He told me a nurse said ‘You are lucky we are still caring for you after your son complained about us.’ “You hear the Health Secretary saying it is important elderly patients are treated with dignity and respect.
“Well that definitely is not the case at Kingston.”
A spokeswoman for Kingston Hospital NHS Trust said: “We want all of our patients to have a good experience and were sorry to learn the Perkin family were not happy with our care.
“We are looking into their complaint and will be providing a full response to Mr Perkin’s son.”