A mother who was kept in a makeshift hospital bay in plain view of the other patients claims doctors “ripped away" her privacy in the most undignified way.

Marina Matthews, of Farriers Way, Borehamwood, was rushed to Barnet General Hospital at 5.30am on Sunday morning with agonising stomach pain and vomiting.

When she arrived with her husband, Toby, doctors admitted her to Damson Ward, but said there were no bays available.

As a result, the 31-year-old hairdresser said she was “shoved” at the end of the ward in a cramped and narrow area.

The space was directly next to double doors, which provided her with a full view of the men’s ward, and just four metres away from the communal toilet.

She said: “I was feeling very dizzy because they gave me strong painkillers. I was petrified, but they promised they would keep me comfortable and scan me.

“I feel very let down by the hospital, it made me feel so uncomfortable. The whole thing is an absolute disgrace and even the doctor apologised to me.

“I couldn’t relax. If I sat up on the bed, all the patients in the male ward could see me. It also smelt horrific because I was right next to the toilet.”

Behind the bed were two rubbish bins, which Mrs Matthews said made her feel like she was “on top of germs” and aggravated her obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Staff gave her a screen to offer some privacy from the other six beds, though it only shielded her from less than half of the ward.

Eventually, doctors suggested she could have pancreatitis - but despite still feeling unwell, she chose to discharge herself at 11.30pm.

She added: “I’d had enough. I was already feeling unwell but knowing all eyes were on me were so much worse.

“I need to go back to hospital but I refuse to go back there. It’s disgusting. They ripped away my privacy in the most undignified way.

“It's a shambles.”

The Times Series is awaiting comment from Barnet General Hospital.