feral pigeonPIGEON droppings have been left to accumulate on a handrail used by patients at a Glasgow hospital. One 84-year-old man who was attending the Royal Infirmary for an eye scan ended up with his hands covered in the mess. Alexander Wardrop, from Riddrie, was left disgusted after he used the rail next to the stairs at the Alexandra Parade entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Building. Councillor Elaine McDougall was accompanying her elderly uncle for a retina scan at the 1000-bed hospital. Ms McDougall, from Dennistoun, was warned by doctors after the scan that Mr Wardrop’s eyes would be blurred because of the drops he had been given. He also has limited mobility, meaning he was reliant on holding on to the rail. But Mr Wardrop found his hands covered in the dirt, which also coats the walls and floor around the external staircase. Ms McDougall said: “I was shocked. My uncle can hardly walk and needs to hold on. There is a lift but he is independent and wanted to walk up the stairs. “There were pregnant women and lots of other people going up and down the stairs.” Mr Wardrop said: “It should not be that way, it is not nice to see that. “A lot of people put their hands on it.”

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde admitted it had an “ongoing problem” with pigeons roosting above the stairwell, but said it had taken action in a bid to prevent it. There are metal spikes up to prevent the pigeons perching, but the birds are still visible on top of the walls. The Royal Infirmary is the main in-patient hospital for the north and east of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area. Out-patients and visitors, including elderly people and pregnant women, all use the stairs to get into the Alexandra Parade entrance. A health board spokesman said: “We are very sorry the hand rail was not clean when this patient needed to use it. The rail has now been cleaned. “We have had an ongoing problem with pigeons roosting above the stairwell and have already taken action – including using pigeon nets and pigeon spikes – in a bid to prevent them from doing this but the problem still remains.

“We have now called in a team of experts to advise us on further measures we can take to stop this problem.”

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