Blind man thrown out of eye hospital because of guide dog

by Leanne Thompson on September 12, 2008

Mark Brierley, a blind man, was asked to leave Manchester’s Royal Eye Hospital because staff didn’t want him to be there with his guide dog. Twenty seven year old Mark was at the eye hospital with his partner Karen, who was there for an operation on her eye, to remove an implant.

However when they arrived, Mark’s guide dog Usher caused staff to turn him away, saying he wasn’t welcome on the ward. He was asked to leave the ward, and to return later.

Mark wasn’t able to leave though, as he didn’t know the area. He was then forced to wait in the outpatient’s area, despite it being closed. He waited on his own, not knowing where he was, until he was discovered by a doctor. His partner, Karen, is a legal solicitor, and is intending to claim against the hospital for their treatment of Mark.

The hospital claim they followed procedure, and apologised for any distress they had caused the pair.

Mark, who is also a solicitor, stated:

I am disgusted that staff seemed totally unused to dealing with a visually impaired person, especially as this is the regional eye hospital, it is ridiculous. When Karen went into theatre they asked me to leave and I was stunned.

His partner, Karen, stated:

I was fuming when I found out what had gone on while I was in theatre. It’s bad enough that anyone treats anyone with such disdain and lack of respect, and if they’d effectively segregated anyone else into a deserted corridor on the basis of race, religion or sexuality there would be an uproar.

For this to all have happened in an eye hospital beggars belief.


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