Scottish bingo hall kept play going when elderly woman collapsed

A bingo hall in Fife has defended its decision to continue play after a pensioner collapsed mid game.

A manager at Carlton Bingo at Fife Leisure Park, Halbeath, was told to keep calling out numbers despite many customers calling out to halt the game.
A manager at Carlton Bingo at Fife Leisure Park, Halbeath, was told to keep calling out numbers despite many customers calling out to halt the game.

A manager at Carlton Bingo at Fife Leisure Park, Halbeath, was told to keep calling out numbers despite many customers calling out to halt the game.

The elderly customer, in her 80s, fell on Thursday evening.

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One eyewitness, Kerry Ward, said: “The lady trying to phone 999 just couldn’t make herself heard and was forced to keep running in and out of the hall to relay information to the emergency services.

“That’s such a ridiculous situation especially as the caller had initially stopped but then told to continue by the manager.

“Surely there has to be some common sense.

“There were a lot of angry and shocked customers, but the staff didn’t want to listen. It was disgusting.

“I’m sure customers would be happy to miss a game in order for the poor woman to get the medical attention she deserves.”

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Shaun Gibson, operations manager for Carlton Bingo said: “In our experience we find it best in situations such as this to continue with the game.

“Not only does it keep customers preoccupied, it also allows for a more efficient and compassionate handling of the situation for the person, in this case an elderly lady, and for medical attention to be given.

“Often we have around 300 customers at our evening sessions and knowing from experience, had we stopped then that instantly alerts every person in the room to the incident and the last thing we want is for 40-50 people crowding around to see what is happening.

“Our staff are trained to deal with such emergencies and it’s the company’s priority that anyone who falls ill is dealt with, not only quickly and efficiently, but also with the dignity and the privacy that they deserve.

“The company constantly reviews its policies for such events and will continue to make improvements where necessary.

“However, having spoken to staff at Halbeath I’m confident the situation was handled correctly.

“I have also spoke with the daughter and niece of the lady who have thanked us for the way in which staff stepped in to help their loved one at the time.”