"Accessing New Victoria Hospital Clinic"

About: New Victoria Hospital / Day surgery

(as a relative),

I drove my elderly father to the New Victoria Hospital in Glasgow yesterday. I stopped in the drop off point and went to collect a wheeled chair for him as he has mobility difficulties. There were no chairs available at the rear entrance so I walked through to the front entrance and asked the Patient Information helpers for assistance.

A call was put out, and I was told to wait at the rear entrance and a porter would bring a chair. When I returned to the rear entrance, another man was also waiting for a chair for his passenger. Time passed, as did a porter doing a search and then the Patient Helper came to see if I had obtained a chair - which I hadn't. She joined the search. I informed a nurse in the Warfarin Clinic, where my father was overdue to attend, that we were awaiting a chair, and she said not to worry - I also kept nipping back to the car to update my father on what was happening.

Unfortunately, no chair was found in 35 minutes of searching and waiting by numerous helpful people. By this time, my father was beginning to suffer from his confinement in the car and wanted to return home, so I went back to the clinic to inform the same nurse that, as we could not get a chair, my father would have to cancel his appointment. As luck would have it, the nurse said she had a portable machine with her today, and would bring this out to my father, which she did. So he had his blood test done in the car by the nurse with the portable equipment. I would like to say a big thank you to this nurse and the Patient Helpers and Porters who searched for one of the wheeled chairs.

I am concerned that there are so few available at the hospital and the difficulties this is causing. I was informed at one point that these chairs can be stolen, hence the shortage, so maybe a wheel locking system, similar to those used on some shopping trolleys, could be considered or some other form of preventing the thefts. A lot of people's valuable time could be saved and help the smooth running of the clinics and hospital as a whole.

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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear John,

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch with me to highlight the difficulties you had getting a wheelchair for your father. While I am glad that the staff you encountered were helpful, and that your father was still able to get his bloods taken, you are right that it is frustrating and time consuming to not have easy access to wheelchairs when required.

I have passed your feedback on to the Facilities Manager at the New Victoria to look into this and I will be back in touch with more information as soon as possible.

Kind Regards,


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Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear John,

Thank you for getting in touch to highlight the issues you and your father experienced with access to his clinic. I am very aware of the problems that you highlight and am continually working to try solve this issue so that there are wheelchairs available for those patients who need them.

You are right in saying that we have had problems with wheelchairs going missing - when the New Victoria opened, 36 folding down, light-weight chairs were bought as it was an ambulatory care unit and would be treating the walking wounded. These disappeared very quickly.

To replace these, we bought another 30 chairs which had a bar bolted across the front so they couldn't be folded down and put in cars, but unfortunately these were removed also. We currently have 20 chairs that we use in the hospital but recognise that there can still be a lack of chairs which causes delays as you have described.

We do request additional chairs and have asked certain specialties that have regular and heavy use of chairs, for example renal services, to request some specifically for their department to free up use for the rest of the hospital.

Marjorie McCulloch,

Site Facilities Manager

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Update posted by John Cecil (a relative)

Thank you for the responses. I appreciate that this has been an on-going problem that has not been easy to solve. I suspect that this is a problem that affects many hospitals - I hope you can find a way to ease the situation.