Dead body lay in ward for seven hours

Hospital bosses apologised today after a corpse was left alongside patients in a ward for seven hours.

Shocked visitors and patients were able to see the body of the dead man propped up on pillows.

The corpse was left in the ward to allow a grieving relative to arrive at the hospital in Glasgow.

But Christine Martin today spoke of her distress after seeing the dead body during a visit to her husband David at Stobhill Hospital.

Mrs Martin said the man died at about 11am and his body was not taken away until around 6.15pm.

She told BBC Radio Scotland that curtains were drawn around the dead body.

But she said they "were open sufficiently for me to see this man, whom we had got to know over a period of 10 days, lying dead, face uncovered, propped up on white pillows."

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it had said sorry to Mr Martin and his wife.

The dead man's family had asked that he remain in the ward until a relative could arrive.

A spokeswoman said: "We have acknowledged to the Martins that, beyond this, there was some delay in the transfer of the patient to the mortuary and steps have already been taken to ensure that this does not happen again."

NHS GGC said a single room could not be found for the patient because of the greater need of other patients.



Mrs Martin wrote to Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon who said steps had been taken to tighten the process of removing deceased patients from wards.

Today Ms Sturgeon said the health board in Glasgow had apologised to Mr and Mrs Martin for "shortcomings".

"I think that is the right course of action for them to have taken," Ms Sturgeon told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland.

The wider issue of improving non-clinical aspects of care was a "real priority" for the health service, said Ms Sturgeon.

She said the Stobhill case involved family wishes relating to a deceased patient.

"But notwithstanding all of that, there were shortcomings on the part of NHS Greater Glasgow," said Ms Sturgeon.

The family had requested that the body remain on the ward while a relative travelled by plane from London.

Ms Sturgeon said there was no evidence that the patient was left on the ward because of a shortage of beds or other facilities.

"As I understand it, the wishes of the family in this case were expressly that the patient was not moved from the ward," she said.

The health secretary said a consultation was about to start in Scotland on plans for a Patients Rights Act.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Data Capture / Telesales

£12000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Front Of House Team Member

£16500 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Manager

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has won the award ...

Recruitment Genius: Store Manager & Store Supervisor

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific