Scots OAP lay on floor in agony waiting for ambulance crews before she died in hospital


A pensioner who later died, lay in agony on her floor for hours as ambulances sent to assist her were diverted to other calls.

Sheila Bruce, 83, was left in an “undignified” state before passing away in hospital a few days later.

Her heartbroken husband, John, yesterday, on what would have been Sheila’s birthday, told of his anger at how she was treated.

He said: “Sheila was so distressed at not being able to get up.

“Sometimes when elderly people have a fall they soil themselves and that happened to Sheila.

“She wanted to get up and sort herself out but she couldn’t and she was very upset about it.



Sheila Bruce was upset at the length of time she had to lie on the floor

“It was so undignified for her.

“If someone had even come and assessed her and put her in a chair I could have driven her to hospital myself rather than her having to lie there for that period of time.”

John, also 83, said on March 13 he had been out for about an hour and when he returned to their Dumbarton home he found his wife lying on the floor.

He said: “She was in constant pain and I couldn’t move her.

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“I had an alarm system where you can call for assistance so I did that but when the carers came the said they couldn’t touch her because she had a suspected shoulder fracture.

“They called for an ambulance about 3pm.

“I called the ambulance service back and they told me they were really busy and it would be about an hour and 20 minutes for an ambulance.

“But there were several more calls over the next few hours before they arrived.

“And although we have a hospital nearby, they took her to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

“I followed in the car but I never got in to see her that night.”

A few days later, Sheila had a fatal heart attack in the hospital.

John, who had been married to Sheila for 57 years, said: “I don’t blame anyone for her death but the length of time she had to lie on that floor undoubtedly caused her added stress.

“I am not happy. I don’t think anybody should be lying that length of time.”



Sheila Bruce had been married to her husband for 57 years before her unexpected death
Sheila Bruce had been married to her husband for 57 years before her unexpected death

In September, the Record published a photograph of 86-year-old Lilian Briggs lying in extreme pain on a hard floor for almost eight hours as she waited for an ambulance.

The photograph forced the Scottish Government to take action on the ambulance crisis.

But John said: “Months later, things are not any better.”

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It is desperately sad to hear of Mrs Bruce’s passing following this ordeal for her and her husband.

“It is unacceptable that anyone should be left lying on the floor after a fall but for a 999 call to be made and the patient left for seven hours in pain, is disgraceful.

“I know ambulance staff are working as hard as they can but they have been let down by years of mismanagement by the SNP government.

“The Cabinet Secretary, Humza Yousaf, has been told about the problems time and time again and he has failed to act. He needs to address this problem now so no other family has to go through this heartbreak.”

A spokesperson for the SAS stated: “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family of Mrs Bruce and our deepest sympathies are with them at this time.

“In light of this complaint, we are carrying out a full review into the circumstances surrounding this incident and will contact the family directly to discuss our findings.”




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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