Hospital workers called patient 'alkie'

May 15, 2008 at 3:47 PM

MIDDLESBROUGH, England, May 15 (UPI) -- A British woman is demanding the firings of two hospital staff members after her answering machine recorded them describing her as a black-toothed alcoholic.

Sharon Roberts, 19, said an operator at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, England, failed to disconnect the phone call after leaving her a message about rescheduling an appointment, The Times of London reported Thursday.

Roberts said her answering machine then recorded the operator gossiping about her with a colleague.

"That girl didn't think she had a problem," the operator said. "One unit -- that's a half of lager, half a beer, or one of them small glasses of wine or a shot of spirit. She drinks 100 a week."

Roberts said the second staff member expressed surprise that she has a boyfriend, and the operator replied: "Come on, who else is going to have her? Bless her. She smells, she had black teeth. She's a typical either druggie or alkie (alcoholic) because she's dead skinny."

Roberts said she has never been an alcoholic or drug addict.

"I had anorexia when I was younger and that's why I'm so thin. I want compensation and I want them sacked," she said.

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Topics: James Cook
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