Dementia dad, 84, abandoned by hospital staff for 30hours and attacked by fellow patient


A VULNERABLE pensioner was abandoned on a hospital trolley for 30 hours with his belongings dumped on his legs – before being attacked by a fellow patient.

Frail Andrew Sanaghan, 84, was reduced to tears by his treatment at  the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, Fife, which has been the centre of a string of scandals since it opened in August last year.

The dementia sufferer was admitted to the hospital’s A&E department after a fall at his care home last month.

NHS Fife bosses said that nurses were “very busy”


His horrified family – one of whom is a nurse – have complained to health chiefs about the treatment he received, claiming they failed to provide “basic care or protection”.

Mr Sanaghan feared he had become paralysed when he lost the feeling in his legs.

But it turned out the sensation was caused by staff dumping his belongings on his limbs as he lay on the trolley.

And a  nurse who left him without an emergency buzzer is alleged to have said: “I hope he can shout loud.”

His daughter, Rosheen,  from Kirkcaldy, said: “My father was treated without dignity or respect – without even the basic level of care or protection.

“If this had happened to a child there would be a huge outcry yet my father is just as vulnerable as any child.

“As a family we are so worried for any poor souls who end up in hospital with no-one to see what is happening to them.”

He was admitted to Victoria Hospital on the evening of Wednesday 19 December 2012 – he was then transferred to an admissions unit around 7am the following morning.

But when his second daughter Marina tried to visit she could not find him anywhere.

It wasn’t until she persistently queried a receptionist that she was granted access to the unit to look for her injured father.



Marina, herself a midwife, found her father lying on a trolley with no identification, his possessions on his legs, and crying.

After finding him, she spoke to a nurse who replied: “Oh, so that’s who he is.”

After pointing out the state he was in the nurse then moved the belongings from his legs.

Marina, also from Kirkcaldy, complained there was no buzzer to which the nurse replied: “I hope he can shout loud.”

Mr Sanaghan was eventually moved to a ward on the Friday but Marina and son Andrew witnessed a fellow patient assault a doctor during an afternoon visit.

That evening hospital staff called and said their father had been assaulted by the same patient and sustained injuries to his arms and hands as he tried to protect himself.

The furious family decided he would be better looked after at his care home and after a six-hour wait on Saturday morning Mr Sanaghan was discharged.

But he did so wrapped in blankets and wearing his son’s socks after Victoria Hospital lost his possessions.

Rosheen added: “What my dad has gone through his horrendous. I hate to think what would have happened to him without his family here to look after him.

“No one should be treated this way.”

Mr Sanaghan and wife Louise, also 84, were admitted to the Jenny Grey House care home in Lochgelly, Fife after they were both diagnosed with dementia.

Mr Sanaghan used to own a painting and decorating business in Kirkcaldy.

In March last year it emerged more than 100 complaints were made against the hospital despite it being opened for just a couple of months.



In August, Victoria staff left a 74-year-old man was lying in bloodied sheets because they were rationing clean linen.

A 25-year-old Scots mum was forced to give birth on the frozen pavement outside the hospital in February after nurses failed to answer the door buzzer for several minutes.

Also in February, an elderly one-legged heart surgery patient was also abandoned in a toilet by staff at the same hospital wing for several hours.

Caroline Inwood, director of nursing for operational division, said NHS Fife did not comment on specific cases but confirmed they were looking into the treatment of Mr Sanaghan.

She said: “All complaints received are taken seriously and investigated. We do not comment on individual cases, however I can confirm we have received a complaint and will reply to the family directly.

“We are committed to doing our best for every individual in our care and take action to rectify any areas where we fall short of standards we set ourselves.”