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Old folk crammed into wards.

Sick old folk are being packed into cramped, crumbling hospital wards, a report reveals.

Inspectors found there were too few nurses, rain leaked through a rotten window, toilets had no locks in mixed sex wards and day rooms were freezing.

The Scottish Health Advisory Service made spot checks at hospitals for 500 elderly patients in Midlothian and East Lothian.

They included the Eastern General, in Edinburgh, Liberton Hospital and Belhaven Hospital, Dunbar.

A spokesman for patients' watchdog Lothian Health Council, said: "The comfort, privacy and dignity of these patients must be paramount.

"We will be seeking assurances that these issues will be addressed." Jim Devine, of NHS staff union Unison, said: "This looks like a case of care on the cheap." A spokesman for East and Midlothian NHS Trust, which runs the hospitals, said managers had fixed toilet locks and put an end to mixed-sex wards on getting the report.

They also plan to spend pounds 500,000 on upgrading Belhaven Hospital this year and pounds 70,000 improving heating in some wards this month.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 7, 1996
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