UK man waited in freezing hospital corridor for 8 hours
After being rushed to the hospital for chest pains, he was left even without a pillow
By John Ferguson
GLASGOW, Scotland — A sickened son last night slammed the NHS after his elderly dad lay in a freezing hospital corridor for eight hours.
Frail widower John McGarrity, 84, was left without even a pillow after being rushed to casualty by ambulance with chest pains.
The retired fruit market worker, who had a stroke last year, languished in a long line of patients waiting for treatment at Glasgow's Western Infirmary on Monday.
On a wall, a hastily scrawled note told the sick they would have to wait six to eight hours just to get a proper bed, never mind see a doctor.
John's son John jnr, 64, added: "When I got to the hospital, I couldn't believe my eyes.
"The corridor was lined with patients on trolleys, wrapped in blankets.
"It was like a scene from a third world country, not something you would expect to see in Scotland.
"My wife and I told one of the nurseswe were going to go to the newspaper.She told us she thought that would be"a good idea because people shouldknow what is going on."
The image of great-grandad John,from Whiteinch, Glasgow, provoked an immediate apology from NHS"bosses.
Labour MSP Richard Simpson - a"retired GP - warned ministers totreat it as a "wake-up call".
He claimed it was reminiscento f the NHS's "dark days" underTory rule.
" John jnr, a recruitment CONSULTANfrom Baillieston, said: "It is a disgracepeople are being treated in thisway because we have a Governmentwho don't value the lives ofordinary people.
"The staff at the hospital werebrilliant. I couldn't fault any of them,they are doing everything they canbut they simply don't have the resources to cope anymore.
"My dad was taken from his homeby ambulance at 2pm on Monday aftersuffering severe chest pains.
"He is elderly and had a stroke seven months ago so clearly this could be really serious.
"But when he got to A&E, he was put on a trolley in a cold corridor and just left there for over seven hours wrapped in blankets.
"He didn't even have a proper pillow, just folded towels under his head.
"It wasn't until almost 10pm that he was moved to the medical observation ward and I don't know how long after that before he was seen by a doctor.
"Even after being taken there, he was woken in the middle of the night and shunted off to another ward at 2am because the bed he was in was needed for another patient."
A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde last night issued a grovelling apology and admitted John had faced a lengthy wait.
She said: "When this patient was admitted, the hospital was experiencing a high demand for emergency medical care and this was being experienced across all our hospitals.
"As a result, the patient did have a lengthy wait before being admitted to a ward. We are very sorry for this.
"The patient was looked after by A&E staff and was taken to a ward as soon as a bed was available."
Health Minister Alex Neil said no patient should suffer like John.
He said: "All patients deserve the very best quality of care at all times, and we hope the health board involved in this case take steps to ensure this patient's experience is not repeated."
Last week, we told how thousands of patients had to wait hours in A&E wards stretched to breaking point.
The NHS claim an unprecedented number of patients being hit by winter bugs is to blame but many believe it is down to a wider funding crisis.
The Government's target is that patients wait no more than four hours for A&E treatment.
But 7000 people waited more than four hours before being seen between December 23 and January 6, while 291 waited more than 12 hours.
In Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 3392 people waited more than four hours. The longest wait was 17 hours and 59 minutes.
John, who was widowed last year after caring for ill wife Ellen, 79, was still recovering in hospital last night.
'He didn't even have a pillow - just folded towels'
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