By Kirsty Topping
A patient at Edinburgh’s main psychiatric hospital has been left in a serious condition after another patient jumped on his head.
The 20-year-old man was left with horrific head injuries after he was attacked at the Royal Edinburgh in Morningside.
Police are treating the incident as attempted murder and have arrested a 24-year-old and detained him under the Mental Health Act. His victim remains unconscious in hospital.
A source described the scene as “like a car accident and claimed staffing problems meant the ward was not being properly monitored.
NHS Lothian insisted “appropriate staffing levels” were in place at the time of the incident on Friday night.
A source at the hospital said staff had been investigating loud thumping noises coming from a room in the Meadows Ward – an acute psychiatric unit – when they stumbled on the assault.
“It was like a car accident, it was horrific,” They said.
“There was a large man just jumping on the head of a very small man and that was the noise that could be heard.
“it was a bloodbath. I’ve heard the victim was an informal patient who checked himself in for treatment and was there to get help as a place of safety.
“i understand his attacker has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
“i don’t know if he flipped or if the other man said something or looked at him the wrong way but it was loud crunching noises coming from one of the floors that could be heard elsewhere in the building.”
The source said morale at the hospital was at an “all-time low” because it was being run by a skeleton staff working long hours and burdened with excessive paperwork.
They said: “The hospital is bursting at the seams. We are there to care for people but they cannot do it like it is.
“It is nearly impossible with the amount of paperwork that has to be done and it feels like the patients are taking over the asylum.”
Health bosses confirmed “an incident” had taken place but refused to comment further because of the ongoing police investigation.
NHS Lothian nurse director Melanie Hornett dismissed claims staff were at full stretch.
She said: “Appropriate staffing levels were in place in the ward at the time of the incident.
“We have an active alarm system which activated, alerting staff in the ward and surrounding wards to respond.
“A range of support is available to any staff affected.”
A police spokesman said: “A 24-year-old man has been charged in connection with a serious assault that happened in the Royal Edinburgh hospital on Friday, April 1. He has been detained under the Mental Health Act.”