Farmer hurt at hospital treatment

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A Mull farmer discharged from Oban hospital at night because there were no available beds says he was left deeply hurt by the experience.

Ian MacFadyen, whose remote farm is 22 miles from Craignure in the Gribun area of Mull, says he was still in pain when he was told there was no bed for him and he had to go home.

He also claims he was told to ‘take or leave’ two pain relief tablets despite a doctor prescribing him morphine – which he never received.

Mr MacFadyen has now complained to a lead medic about his experience at Lorn and Islands Hospital and says he never wants to return.

Mr MacFadyen, who walks with a stick because of a previous femur fracture and was admitted after experiencing agonising bowel pain, said no one at Lorn and Islands even asked if he had money to get back to Mull or was able to find somewhere in Oban to stay overnight.

An ambulance had transferred him from Craignure Hospital earlier that day and he  spent about seven hours in an A&E cubicle before being told at about 7.30pm to leave.

‘All they said was that they would get me back sometime for another scan. I was turfed out. I was so hurt by how they treated me. I was shaking with anger. I got the boat back to Mull only by the skin of my teeth. The next day I went back to Craignure Hospital to complain to the lead doctor,’ said Mr MacFadyen.

‘The treatment I got at Craignure hospital, from the ambulance staff and from most of those at Oban hospital in A&E was without fault, they were excellent. The doctor who came and first told me I had to leave was really nice and seemed embarrassed about it.

‘I won’t be going back there. I’d rather go to the veterinary hospital in Glasgow. I’ve worked all my life, I’ve farmed for 50 years, I’ve never claimed benefits, but when I  needed help I felt I was treated horribly. If I had a sick cow in a byre, I wouldn’t chuck her out like I was.’

Mr MacFadyen said he found it hard to believe there were no available beds that night because of an experience at the hospital the previous week when he was admitted with suspected gall-bladder problems.

He said he had been kept in A&E on that occasion until about 10.30pm because there were no beds but said when he was finally taken up to the ward he was told ‘pick your bed’.

‘There were four empty beds there. When I asked the two patients already there, they said the other beds had been empty all day. So, why would I believe they had no beds when they turfed me out? What’s going on?’ he added.

NHS Highland said: ‘Due to patient confidentiality reasons it would not be appropriate for us to comment on individual cases, however we would ask the gentleman to get in touch with us via our Feedback team so we can discuss their concerns in more detail.  They can call the team on 01436 635155 or email them at

The Oban Times also asked for information about current hospital bed availability and any limitations on numbers due to Covid but no response was given.