Scots stroke victim suffered second seizure after three hour wait outside Glasgow's Queen Elizabeth hospital

A suspected stroke victim had a second seizure after being left for three hours in an ambulance at a hospital.

Martin Hughes’ family are demanding answers, saying the wait could have killed the pensioner. Martin, 69, from Drymen, in Stirlingshire, suffered a stroke on Monday and he was rushed to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).

But when he arrived there was a queue of ambulances and it was three hours before he was taken into a “holding area”. As the ambulance crew handed him over there, he had what appeared to be a second stroke.

Brother-in-law Hugh Robertson said: “The wait not only endangered the life of a very ill man but tied up an ambulance crew for hours, which meant they were unable to attend anyone else. He was not alone – there were a number of ambulances waiting with patients to be allowed into the building. It seems that this is normal now.

“The ambulance crew had just put him in a holding area when he took another stroke. Then he was treated as an immediate emergency as he wasn’t responsive.”

Hugh, 63, added: “We do not pay ambulance staff to babysit patients outside hospitals. The SNP closed A&E facilities at the Victoria, the Western and Stobhill – all of which were able to take some of the burden.

“I place none of the blame on the staff, who seem helpful and genuinely concerned as to the hopelessness of the situation.”

Labour’s health spokeswoman, Jackie Baillie, received an email from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) this week reminding residents of the main signs of a stroke.

It said: “Getting medical help as quickly as possible could massively improve a person’s recovery if they’ve had a stroke, and could be the difference between life and death.”

Baillie stated: “If you can’t get in because they are holding you in an ambulance for three hours, this is not much use.

“Ambulance paramedics and trade unions have been warning us for ages that the process of queuing at the front door of the hospital is dangerous for patients. For this gentleman to have to wait hours in the back of an ambulance was clearly inappropriate care.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We experienced pressure on our services due to hospital turnaround times at the QEUH.”

NHS GGC said: “We are currently experiencing a high number of patients being admitted to our hospitals with Covid-19 which is impacting wait times in A&E.”

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.