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NewsScottish NewsControversial Scots hospital receives 11 complaints a week

Controversial Scots hospital receives 11 complaints a week

ALMOST 100 formal complaints have been received by Scottish NHS board in the two months since it opened a controversial new hospital wing.

Angry patients have flooded NHS Fife with an average of 11 formal complaints a week since the £170m wing of the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, opened its doors.

Controversies include a 25-year-old Scots mum who was forced to give birth on the frozen pavement outside the hospital after nurses failed to answer the door buzzer for several minutes.
And an elderly, one-legged heart surgery patient was abandoned in a toilet by staff at the same hospital wing for several hours.

The Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy has received almost 100 complaints in two months  © Deadline News

NHS Fife confirmed it had received 94 formal complaints in January and February. As well as the Victoria Hospital, NHS Fife runs Forth Park and Queen Margaret.

Asked how many of the complaints did not  relate to the new wing, a spokesman said that information could only be provided under the Freedom of Information Act.

Pensioner, Linda Gatiens, from Dunfermline, recently described her stay at Victoria Hospital as “the worst 10 days of my life”.

The 64-year-old claimed nappies rather than bandages had been used to dress a wound and that she was left in a dirty bed at the brand new hospital.

She said: “Staff always seemed disorganised and rushed off their feet, and a few of them were less than professional.

“My sole reason for making my experience public is to alert the ‘decision-makers’ to the fact that there are serious problems with the day-to-day running of the departments I have highlighted at Victoria Hospital.”

Margaret Watt, of Scotland Patient Association said people were “not happy” with the new hospital wing.

She said: “The number of complaints doesn’t surprise me at all. I think that something needs to be done. Things are not right there and something needs to be done straight away.

“The fact that the hospital is in a transitional phase is not an excuse for bad service, its not acceptable and there shouldn’t be these problems.

“It’s not just a small amount of money that’s being spent, and people there are not happy, we are speaking to people who are saying they had horrific experiences. I urge NHS to listen to the patients, they are not asking for much.”

Caroline Inwood, director of nursing for the operational division, said NHS Fife’s experience was similar to other health boards that had carried out major changes.

She said: “Where new hospitals or wings have opened then complaints go up initially. The number then rights itself as people, staff and public, get used to the new way of working and everything settles down.

“Every complaint is important but what is equally important are out procedures which allow patients and families to raise concerns over their care.

“We had extra staff on duty and we don’t turn people away, no matter how busy it gets. Even if we are full we still have to provide care, and we do. That’s the real challenge.”

“I’d urge people to raise any concerns at the time, with the charge nurse or nurse manager, of if it’s a medical care issue ask to speak to their consultant.”

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