The serious questions we need to ask

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A KIRKCALDY family’s complaint following a catalogue of failings in the care of their elderly father while in hospital has been taken up by Scotland’s health minister.

Alex Neil will demand answers from the NHS Fife board after the case of Andrew Sanaghan (84) was brought to his attention by Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance.

As revealed in last week’s Press, Mr Sanaghan’s family lodged an official complaint following the “degrading and humiliating” way he was treated at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital after he suffered a head injury in a fall at his care home.

The shocking series of events included Mr Sanaghan waiting hours on a trolley with all his belongings dumped on top of his frail legs so he thought he was paralysed; being attacked by another patient; and the hospital losing all his possessions so when he was discharged he had to be wrapped in a surgical gown and blankets to be taken home.

Mr Torrance said: “After I read the story in the Fife Free Press, I raised the matter with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Alex Neil (inset), and I’m waiting on his response.

“The family’s complaint makes shocking reading, and Mr Neil will be asking some serious questions and seeking answers about what has happened in this case.

“He has the power to hold the board to account and will he will want answers.”

Mr Torrance added: “I’ve also had one or two members of staff raising concerns with me about staff shortages and overcrowding, and I’ve passed these details on to Mr Neil as well. He’s going to look into this for me.”

However, Mr Torrance also pointed out that since the new wing opened at Victoria Hospital, he has received very few compaints from his constituents about the care and treatment they have received.

“When services were being transferred to Kirkcaldy, I received a number of complaints at that time, but I have to say that since the new wing opened, I’ve had very few people raising concerns,” he said.

“In fact I’ve had quite a few people praising the hospital. They appreciate the care shown to them by the staff who are dedicated and hard working.

“While there are cases which cause great concern and must be thoroughly investigated, like the one involving Mr Sanaghan, there are also many patients who receive first-class care and treatment from the NHS in Fife.”