THE BOSS of the Southampton hospital at the centre of the Ashya King controversy has spoken for the first time about how her staff were hounded with abuse as the plight of the youngster hit international headlines.

Fiona Dalton, chief executive of the trust that runs Southampton General Hospital, told how “irate members of the public” confronted medics “aggressively” while they were bombarded with hate emails.

She went on to describe her “surprise” at the media storm the story caused and how medics from the paediatric oncology team were confronted with personal abuse from strangers.

She also praised staff for their efforts in what she called a “very intense few days” and thanked them for pulling together to ensure the thousands of patients being treated at the hospital were cared for.

As previously reported, brain tumour patient Ashya was taken by his parents without doctor’s consent on August 28 in a bid to get him proton beam therapy, which was not being recommended by medics in Southampton.

Ms Dalton revealed in her online blog how she was only alerted late in the evening that the youngster was missing and had been taken by his parents Naghmeh and Brett.

Their disappearance spar-ked a major police hunt for the family, who were found in Spain two days later.

His parents were arrested but they were released after mounting pressure from the public and politicians.

Ashya is now being treated in Prague, where doctors have estimated that he has a 70 per cent chance of survival if all the treatment is effective.

If tests go as planned, he will start the therapy on Monday.

Describing the last fortnight, Ms Dalton wrote in her blog that she has got to know some of the Southampton paediatric oncology team “very well” and how “proud” she is to be part of the hospital.

She added: “I have been humbled by their compassion, fortitude and forensic attention to detail under pressure.

“When their email inboxes were full of personal abuse from strangers, and there were journalists camped on their front door, they were still worrying about how we could do the best thing for a small boy in Spain.

“I cannot imagine having to face the reality of your child being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

“But I do know that in this dreadful situation, I would want the support and care of this brilliant clinical team.”

She also revealed how staff from across the hospital were confronted by “irate members of the public” who questioned staff in a “very aggressive way”.

She added: “But through all of this we still had thousands of patients who needed care and treatment.

“And I’m so grateful to everyone who kept on doing their job, and making sure that we gave the best possible patient care that we could.”