First Minister gets wrapped up in hospital blankets row

ALEX SALMOND and Nicola Sturgeon have said sorry and promised an investigation after meeting patients who were told hospital blankets were like "gold dust".

Loading Comments
Share
Print

The apology on behalf of a health board to two pensioners came minutes after the First Minister and the Health Secretary accused Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie of "scaremongering" over "untrue" blanket shortage stories.

The First Minister later met with 92-year-old Helen McBeth and Jack Barr, 65, who told him they had only sheets and a towel to keep them warm in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

Last week the Evening Times reported how a patient at the hospital was given a pillow slip to dry herself with after being told there were no towels.

In Holyrood, Labour leader Johann Lamont raised the cases of Mrs McBeth and Mr Barr, who spent days in the hospital with Mr Barr being told by apologetic nurses blankets were like "gold dust".

Mr Barr said: "After my operation I had just a sheet and my beach towel round me. When my daughter asked again about a blanket the nurse said, 'sorry they're like gold dust'. This shouldn't happen."

After hearing Mr Salmond state that the stories were not true, Mr Barr said: "We are not telling lies, I'm not happy about that. The First Minister is taking it on board and they said they will deal with it."

Mrs McBeth said: "The nursing staff were brilliant but during the night I was freezing and I got up and I asked for a blanket, but I was told 'sorry we haven't got any to give you'.

"I went back to bed with my dressing gown three sheets and a towel I had with me."

The Scottish Government and the health board said there was not a shortage of blankets but a problem in the supply from the warehouse to the hospital.

A spokesman said: "Both the First Minister and Health Secretary apologised on behalf of the health service for their individual experience and the lack of blankets."

"Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board have made it clear there is no truth in claims that there is a shortage of linen at the Royal Alexanda hospital, but have acknowledged that there were internal operational issues at the hospital relating to the supply of linen from the hospital's in-house linen store to the wards."

Ms Lamont said Mr Salmond "is in denial". She added: "It is easy to dismiss another politician but we have to listen to people in the community.

"They have given a commitment to look into it. The test now is in how they act."

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We want to apologise to any of our patients who feel that the linen, towelling or blanket provision was not adequate.

"There is no question of a shortage of supply or funding to purchase linen.

"Over the past year alone £1.2million has been invested in new and replacement linen for our hospitals."

stewart. paterson@heraldand times.co.uk

Health

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

95073

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

What a year for me...it’s a wonderful life!

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Preparing for Christmas and sparing a thought for Angelina Jolie

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.