August 20, 2008

Body Left on Ward for Hours

A BODY was left alongside patients on a hospital ward for up to eight hours, it emerged yesterday.

Hospital chiefs said yesterday the patient had died suddenly on a four-bed ward at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

And the family had asked for the body to be left so they could gather to pay their last respects.

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokeswoman said: "Mindful of the need to balance the request made by the family with the needs of other patients, staff arranged for the patient's body to be screened from view."

As visiting time had started when the grieving family left the hospital, it would have been "inappropriate and distressing"

To move the body, she added But it was transferred as soon as visiting time was over.

However, health bosses have now ordered a "rapid review" of single room and morturary facilities in hospitals to avoid upsetting other patients.

The incident follows complaints from patients following the death of Tom Smith, 78, at Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow.

Tom's son, Scottish TUC general secretary Grahame, said staff had shown "compassion and sensitivity" in leaving his dad's body in place until he could get to the bedside.

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