A 90-year-old blind woman suffered a horrific fall on a hospital ward – then had to wait hours for an ambulance to transport her elsewhere for specialist treatment. 

Kathy Blue was left drenched in blood after crashing to the ground while trying to go to the bathroom at Lightburn Hospital – but was then told she would need to be taken across the city for an emergency scan and to be stitched.

The Type2 diabetic pensioner was an in-patient at Lightburn’s rehabilitation unit recovering from hip surgery when the accident took place.

Her son Billy told the Glasgow Times that his mum looked like she had ‘been in a car crash’ when he was called by medics and wants to know how she was allowed to take such a serious tumble while under NHS care at Lightburn.

Glasgow Times: Billy with the nightdressBilly with the nightdress (Image: Gordon Terris)

He said: “I was horrified. She was sitting on the bed with her head wrapped in bandages with blood seeping through. Her pyjama top was soaked, as well as her pillow. The nurses were using towels to try to stem the bleeding, but nothing was really working. She was obviously distressed at what had happened.

“About an hour later a doctor arrived and she also struggled to stop the flow because my mum is on mild blood thinners. I was told because she’d hit her head on the floor she would need to go to the Royal Infirmary for a CT scan and to have the wound seen to, and we were told an ambulance would be called to take her there. I've still no idea when the actual accident took place, nobody at Lightburn seems to be willing to tell me that and I want answers."

Billy says he was shocked at the delay, given the seriousness of his mother's condition, and where the incident had taken place.

He added: “It all seemed madness because she was already at a hospital. I understand staff are under a lot of pressure, and many of them do a good job, but it’s just not fair to leave an elderly woman sitting around for that length of time waiting for help."

Kathy was eventually taken across the city for treatment following her fall on October 28. Doctors decided the pensioner should be kept in and administered a blood transfusion as her haemoglobin was low.

Glasgow Times: Billy with his mum before she was taken into hospitalBilly with his mum before she was taken into hospital (Image: Newsquest)

But Billy, from Robroyston in the north-east of Glasgow, claims that he then received a call from a staff member at Lightburn saying that his mum's bed had been given to another patient. 

The 65-year-old, who also helps to care for his mum, says that he was stunned as Kathy had been an in-patient at the hospital since June, and was undergoing regular physiotherapy to aid her return to the family home.

He added: “Initially, my mum was only going to be in the Royal overnight for scans and stiches, so I was flabbergasted when I was told that her bed at Lightburn had been given away. I was expecting her to go back there to complete her rehab as the staff had been very good with her. She knew everyone and felt settled."

Billy says it is the second time his mum has been taken to the acute unit at the Royal Infirmary this year. In May she ended up there after becoming extremely dehydrated.

He also told how her blood sugar levels crept up from six to 23, a concerning hike for a diabetic.  

He added: “I already have complained because my mum is blind and has no idea if a jug of water is on a trolley at the bottom of her bed or on the unit behind her. On one occasion I walked into the ward to find her sucking on grapes just to get some fluids because she was so desperate for a drink."

Glasgow Times: Billy BlueBilly Blue (Image: Gordon Terris)

"I think it is shocking that a 90-year-old woman ends up on an acute ward twice in less than a year. This should never be allowed to happen."

The hospital ordeal is the latest trauma to hit the family.

Kathy’s son Alexander Blue, 41, was murdered the driveway of his luxury home in the West End of Glasgow with horrific head injuries on June 25, 2002. He died two days later having never regained consciousness. No one has been arrested or stood trial for the taxi firm owner’s murder. 

Billy says the impact of losing Alexander has taken a massive toll on his mother’s health, adding: “My mum has been through enough."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We can confirm we received a call at 7.36pm to transport a patient between hospitals. Due to high demand at this time, we unfortunately could not attend immediately. The call was upgraded at 9.18pm due to a change in the patient’s condition at the hospital and an ambulance arrived at the scene at 9.21pm, one hour and 45 minutes after the original call. The patient was transported to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.”

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde added: "While we cannot discuss individual cases for reasons of patient confidentiality, we would like to apologise to this family if they feel that the care given to their relative was below the standard they would expect.

"If the family have any further concerns we would urge them to contact us directly so that we can discuss their loved one’s ongoing care."