A 96-year-old woman battling pneumonia was left in a cart at A&E for 40 hours.
Pensioner Evelyn Gaw could not be transferred to a ward due to lack of beds, the Secretary of Health was told yesterday.
In the latest shocking example of NHS chaos under the SNP, the former director was left “frightened, crying, breathless and disoriented” in a drafty corridor at an Ayrshire hospital.
The case was described as “morally abhorrent” by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, who faced demands to rip up and rewrite his NHS recovery plan.
During a debate in Holyrood about the health services crisis, Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane raised the case of the great-grandmother, who was taken to the emergency room by ambulance after collapsing last Thursday.
Her son, a 39-year-old GP, said his mother felt she had “lost her dignity” due to the “disastrous and completely unacceptable” situation at Crosshouse University Hospital in Kilmarnock.
Pensioner Evelyn Gaw could not be moved to a ward due to a lack of beds at Crosshouse University Hospital in Kilmarnock (pictured), the Health Secretary was told yesterday.
While the latest case of NHS chaos was in Scotland, England’s NHS is facing its own crisis. NHS figures show that 6.8 million patients were queuing for routine hospital treatment in July, equivalent to one in eight people. Almost 380,000 have been waiting for more than a year.
Emergency unit data shows that three in 10 people in England were forced to wait more than four hours in A&E departments in August, while nearly a thousand a day waited 12 hours.
Ambulance response times in England recovered slightly in August, but the time it took for paramedics to reach the scene was still well above targets.
Cancer patients who started treatment within two months of an urgent referral increased from 59.9 percent in June to 61.6 percent in England in July. But the figure is below the 85 percent standard, which has not been reached since 2014.
During a Holyrood debate on the health service crisis, Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane (pictured) raised the case of the great-grandmother, who was taken to A&E by ambulance after collapsing on Thursday past.
Dr Norrie Gaw added: “Usually she’s fit as a fiddle and lives on her own with the help of wonderful carers, but all of a sudden she developed a chest infection that wiped it out.”
Pinched, teased and even slapped: BBC Panorama’s secret investigation uncovers a ‘toxic culture’ at one of the UK’s largest NHS mental health hospitals
Staff working at one of Britain’s largest mental health hospitals pinched, teased and even slapped patients, according to a damning BBC investigation.
A ‘toxic culture’ at the Edenfield Center in Prestwich, Bury, saw nurses humiliate vulnerable people suffering from schizophrenia, autism and other conditions.
An undercover reporter for Panorama, who spent three months working there, witnessed staff cursing at patients, holding them inappropriately and even engaging in sexual behavior with them.
Patients at the hospital are confined under the Mental Health Act and are considered to be at serious risk of harm to themselves or others. Some of them have committed crimes, including murder.
The whistleblowers had claimed that staff were misbehaving and violating the security of people living in the institution, prompting the secret investigation.
Police have now opened an investigation into the hospital, which has a capacity of 150 patients, after the harrowing footage was shown. Officers who reviewed the evidence said anyone caught committing a crime will be prosecuted.
The investigation, which aired last night, showed nurses cursing at patients, calling one who was suicidal a “fat f***” and joking about her cutting her own throat.
The patients were kept in small seclusion rooms designed for short-term isolation, some of which smelled like sewage and were moldy, for months at a time.
Experts said the behavior of the staff was dangerous and “really worrying”, adding that they acted “like a gang, not like a group of health professionals”.
“When he got to A&E, a diagnosis was made in 90 minutes and he needed a hospital bed, but there were absolutely no beds available.
“The staff were clearly exhausted but fantastic and very apologetic but had to be wheeled around to wait in a corridor due to lack of beds.
“It was absolutely packed with patients, and this is no exception, now it’s the norm.”
He said Mrs. Gaw, who has six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, “grabbed my hand and didn’t want me to leave her side.”
He added: ‘She hated him. She was totally distraught, scared, crying, breathless and disoriented.
It was horrible to see and horrible to have to leave her.
Last week, figures showed Scotland’s A&E waiting times were the worst since records began, with 36.5 per cent of patients not being seen within the four-hour target.
Yousaf was condemned for praising a marginal improvement in this week’s figures, with Dr Gulhane calling him “unfit to be in charge of health”.
Both Nicola Sturgeon and Yousaf have tried to deflect blame by claiming that the NHS in England and Wales is performing worse.
Despite being challenged by Dr. Gulhane to respond, the Secretary of Health failed to acknowledge Ms. Gaw’s traumatic experience.
Dr Gaw said: ‘Humza Yousaf was asked if he considered this morally abhorrent and he completely ignored it. I think that just shows that the policy is to ignore the facts and ignore that there is a crisis in the health service.
“It’s indicative of his and the Prime Minister’s denial, and until they acknowledge that, they’re not going to implement measures that work.”
Mrs Gaw, who worked at Hayocks Primary in her hometown of Stevenston, Ayrshire, has since been moved to a ward with “fabulous staff” and her condition is improving.
Dr Gulhane accused Mr Yousaf of “holding on to his flimsy NHS recovery plan, which is not working and needs to be rewritten before winter”.
He added: ‘Workforce planning is poor. Nursing vacancies increased 25 percent in one year and exceed 6,000. Last year around 15,000 workers left the NHS, the highest number in a decade.’
Occupational health spokesman Jackie Baillie accused Mr Yousaf of “dangerous incompleteness”, adding: “Nearly 500 days have passed since this cabinet secretary took office.”
“Unfortunately, their performance in that time has been dismal and the consequences have been devastating for our NHS, hard-working staff and patients.”
Across Scotland, 26,403 patients attended A&E in the week ending 18 September. Of 8,931 waited four hours or more to be seen, 2,697 waited more than eight hours and 998 more than 12 hours.
Yousaf said Dr Gulhane had not mentioned Covid, “the biggest shock our NHS has ever faced”. He added: ‘To deny the severe impacts of the pandemic… is frankly to deny reality.
“I accept that it is not a consolation for people who wait too long for emergency treatment, but this is not a uniquely Scottish problem: health services around the world are facing this challenge.”
‘Scotland’s A&E performance continues to be the best in the UK, not by a small margin but by a considerable margin.
“But I accept, once again, that more needs to be done.”
NHS Ayrshire & Arran said it could not comment on a specific case due to patient confidentiality, but added: “Unfortunately, patients have sometimes waited much longer than we would like and we apologize unreservedly for that.”