Health Secretary Alex Neil faints in ERI surgery

Alex Neil: Fainted moments after observing live kidney swap surgery. Picture: PEter Jolly
Alex Neil: Fainted moments after observing live kidney swap surgery. Picture: PEter Jolly
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HEALTH Secretary Alex Neil passed out in seconds as he watched live kidney swap surgery at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.

The minister went “white as a sheet” before he fainted in front of baffled medics, moments after a surgeon made an incision.

Onlookers said Mr Neil – who pledged to visit frontline NHS staff – had to be helped out of the theatre on to a trolley.

A government spokesman tried to play down the incident but the Airdrie and Shotts MSP joked: “I wanted to go back to the floor, but not literally.”

The incident is not the first PR gaffe that Mr Neil has endured - he was criticised for sitting on a hospital bed during another visit, inadvertantly flouting official advice.