An NHS children’s therapist has shocked a Question Time audience by saying she hoped the children of people who voted to leave the EU contracted illnesses which couldn’t be cured – to teach their parents a lesson.
Horrified viewers called for Nicola Gorb, 47, a language and speech therapist at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital, to be sacked following her rant on the panel discussion show. Yet Gorb, a self-proclaimed ‘professional anti-Brexiter’ was at first proud of her performance, only apologising following the public backlash.
In a discussion on Brexit, Gorb said: “I want people who are leaving to one day unfortunately have a child who needs that treatment but it’s not there because collaboration’s not been there.”
Gorb, who describes herself on Twitter as a “political activist, friend of Greens, Lib Dem, professional anti-brexiter”, continued: “I’m very much a Remainer, I want to stay in the EU, I want freedom of movement.
“If you have a child who requires specialist services, that knowledge may not be there because that collaboration has been cut.
“You have to have the people to come together to get the knowledge to progress – from the EU.
“Twenty-five per cent of all staff who are clinicians come from non-British EU countries”.
Initially, she boasted of her appearance on social media, saying: “’Well I had a good rant about NHS, great ormond street hospital [sic] and eu [sic] staff and collaboration – sick children not getting treatment blah blah…”
But she later backed down, telling the Huffington Post UK: “I’m deeply sorry if what I said has been misconstrued or misinterpreted. It’s not what I meant to say. I care deeply about the care of children and that’s what I wanted to get across.
“I hope nobody is in that position with an ill child who can’t receive care because that research has been cut. It is so distressing to see headlines written about you like that.
“I can only apologise profusely for what I said and say it is not what I meant. I didn’t mean to say it and I would never wish this on children or their parents.
“I am very committed to the care of children. I’m just really sorry for this.”
The incident is a PR disaster for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which has sought to distance itself from her remarks. A spokesman for the hospital said: “This is not a Great Ormond Street Hospital stance.
“We want to reassure all families that we will do our very best to find and offer new cures and treatments to all children that need them – whatever political circumstances the country find itself in.’
“We cannot comment on questions around personal conduct of individual members of staff.”
As well as her private practice at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and another in Watford, Gorb works with transgender people for the London Gender Identity Clinic.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) told Mail Online it is considering whether her comments constitute a fitness to practice hearing.