Yousaf apologises to woman after seven-hour wait in pain on floor of A&E unit

The woman is said to have spent hours on the floor of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital waiting room 'surrounded by vomit and other bodily fluids'.

Yousaf apologises to woman after seven-hour wait in pain on floor of A&E unit Getty Images

Humza Yousaf has apologised to a woman said to have spent hours lying on the floor in a hospital accident and emergency department “surrounded by vomit and other bodily fluids”.

The First Minister was challenged on the care received by Kirsteen Campbell, from Ross-shire, who spent more than seven hours in a waiting room at the flagship Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Ms Campbell attended the hospital during a visit to Clydebank, near Glasgow, as she was suffering symptoms of either a heart attack or blood clot, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said.

Raising her case at First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament, he told Yousaf: “To alleviate the pain she was in, Kirsteen had to lie on the floor, she told me, surrounded by vomit and other bodily fluids, because there was no bed available.

“What does Humza Yousaf have to say to Kirsteen and how is he going to fix this problem?”

The First Minister responded: “What I would say to Kirsteen Campbell and anybody else that has had to wait too long, is first and foremost this Government apologises to anybody who has to wait longer than any of us would expect in relation to A&E treatment, or indeed when it comes to elective care or diagnostics.”

Amid heated exchanges at First Minister’s Questions – in which Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone was forced to intervene as External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson was accused by Mr Ross of “smirking” – Mr Yousaf stressed the NHS is “still recovering” from the Covid pandemic.

But he went on to tell MSPs the Scottish Government is providing “record” cash of more than £19.5 billion for health in the 2024-25 Budget, and he insisted “progress” is being made in terms of NHS performance.

Yousaf declared: “We are seeing recovery.”

He cited an increase in operations being carried out, with these rising from 604 procedures a day across the NHS in January 2023 to 702 in January this year

“That shows activity moving in the right direction,” the First Minister said.

Ross also challenged him on the care received by Ian Black, who he said “gave up” waiting for an ambulance after 15 hours when he was told Monklands Hospital in Airdrie was full.

The Tory leader said: “When he eventually got an ambulance the following morning, it emerged he had suffered a stroke.

“Ian is still alive to explain his situation, but if this happened to other people they might not be.

“Waiting 15 hours for an ambulance after a stroke will be fatal in other circumstances.”

Yousaf accepted the Scottish Ambulance Service, like the rest of the health service, is facing “challenges”, but said ministers are increasing their funding next year.

He insisted: “There is no getting away from the fact that the global pandemic impacted on health services right across the country, including here in Scotland.”

He also hit out at the Westminster Government, saying cuts imposed by it are impacting on services in Scotland.

Yousaf told MSPs: “This Government is not just committed to the NHS, we will support it in its greatest hour of need by ensuring it has the record investment, over £19.5bn investment, in very stark contrast to the UK Conservative Government that has slashed public spending to the absolute bone.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar also questioned the First Minister on his Government’s record on health, saying the treatment time guarantee – which guarantees in law that eligible patients will be treated within 12 weeks – has been broken 680,000 times.

The legislation creating the guarantee was brought in in 2011 by the SNP, with Sarwar saying: “It is written in law that a patient should be treated within 12 weeks.

“The SNP have broken this law over 680,000 times. Humza Yousaf might try and blame the pandemic, but this law was broken over 320,000 times before Covid.

“Every one of these breaches is someone waiting anxiously for a medical procedure, often in pain. Many have put their lives on hold, stopped work or retired because of their condition.”

Yousaf said “of course this Government apologises and regrets anybody having to wait longer” for treatment.

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