'When I saw the blood soaking through the tea towel I knew we had to rush to FVRH A&E'

A man who suffered a horror hand injury has praised staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for the “excellent” care he is receiving.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 12th November 2021, 11:59 am

He believes frontline medical teams are not receiving the credit they deserve for all their work to treat patients.

His comments come as the Larbert hospital continues to have the worst performing A&E waiting time figures in Scotland with less than half treated within the four hour target.

Alistair Neilson, 68, was helping out his next door neighbour on October 15 by cutting some logs for his wood burner when the chainsaw he was using slipped.

Alistair Neilson and his wife Janice

As it slipped off the bench where he was working, his attempt to stop it hitting the ground saw him badly injure three fingers.

He said: “I wrapped a tea towel round my hand and called my GP surgery for advice. However, they told me there was nothing they could do and to phone the NHS helpline on 111.

"After waiting 20 minutes without a response and seeing how much blood was soaking through the tea towel, I said to my wife Janice that I thought we should go to A&E.”

Alistair Neilson's injured hand

The couple arrived at the hospital at 2.45pm and within half an hour he had been triaged and his wounds were being checked by two orthopaedic surgeons.

Alistair said: “There had been about half a dozen people waiting when arrived but the receptionist saw my blood soaked hand and I was seen very quickly.

"I had a local anaesthetic to have it cleaned and then set for an x-ray. They also checked my tetanus jag was up-to-date and by 7.30pm I was being sent home.”

Two days later he had a call to say that they wanted him in at 10am on Monday for further treatment on his hand under a full anaesthetic.

Once that was completed successfully and staff ensured he had something to eat and drink, as well as fit to walk around, he was again allowed back to his Cumbernauld home.

However, as he waited for his operation he experienced first-hand the abuse of medical staff.

He said: "There was a woman who came in with a broken hip who needed an operation. As they were waiting her daughter became very abusive towards the staff.

"I told her to calm down as my operation had been put back so her mum could get treated and I was happy to wait. The way she spoke to them was shocking.

"Thankfully she quietened down after that. Apparently her sort of behaviour isn’t unusual which is terrible.

"Surely we are not going to end up like in the United States where hospitals have ward marshalls to control people.”

Former BP Grangemouth worker Alistair said the treatment he had at the time of his accident and follow up appointments has been second-to-none.

"Their only concern was to get me treated and ensure that I was pain free.

"There are so many people who are critical of hospital staff but I will always be eternally grateful for the care I received.”

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