Police visit hospital assault patient’s son

Morag Simpson was assaulted by a patient as she lay in her hospital bed. Pocture: Complimentary
Morag Simpson was assaulted by a patient as she lay in her hospital bed. Pocture: Complimentary
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POLICE have become embroiled in a row between the family of an elderly hospital-bound dementia patient and nursing staff.

George Simpson, whose mother, Morag, is an inpatient in Ferryfield House, has repeatedly raised concerns about the 85-year-old’s care.

Relations deteriorated to such an extent that police were called, which is believed to have led to a visit to the hospital in which Mr Simpson, 62, was spoken to by two officers last week.

NHS Lothian would only confirm that police were called following an incident in late July, however health board insiders said that Mr Simpson had been known to act in an aggressive manner and had left a nurse “shaken up”.

It is understood that there is a long history of disputes between the Simpson family and staff at Ferryfield House, while he was accused of getting “right up in the nurse’s face”.

But Mr Simpson, who also spoke out after his mother was assaulted by another dementia patient as she lay in her hospital bed just two weeks ago, accused the NHS of overreacting.

He said he had been understandably upset by the care of his mother, after he claimed she was left lying with her head on a sodden pillow, although sources said a towel had been left to help dry her hair.

“I may have raised my voice and pointed at her [the nurse], but when things like that happen it’s enough to make anyone upset,” said Mr Simpson.

“The police said I was raising my voice and pointing at the nurse, and asked me to stop doing it. We have enough on our minds with what’s going on with my poor old mother in there without being threatened with the police.”

Mr Simpson, who is retired, added: “It was a complete overreaction.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said that officers had spoken with the family of a patient.

He said: “Police in Edinburgh attended at a care home in the Drylaw area on Wednesday, August 14 where they spoke to a man and women and provided guidance as to their conduct when visiting the premises. No further police action was taken.”

It is understood that NHS Lothian has offered to move Mrs Simpson to another facility, although her son does not believe she should have to leave the building she has lived in for eight years.

We told yesterday how health chiefs have been told to take urgent action to address rising violence levels in hospitals. The Health and Safety Executive has issued NHS Lothian with a formal edict.