An elderly man was allegedly tied to a plastic chair and left in the passageway last Friday during his stay at Northdale Hospital.Balaram Jackpersad (64) was admitted to Northdale Hospital three weeks ago when an infection on his foot became gangrenous.Jackpersad, who is diabetic and has several other medical conditions, had half his foot amputated and is recovering in hospital.Jackpersad’s paramedic son, Deon Jackpersad, said he and his wife went to visit his father last Friday afternoon and were “shocked” to find Jackpersad tied to a plastic chair, in the hospital passage outside his ward.When Deon asked the nursing staff why his father was tied to a chair, he was allegedly told that his father was disorientated and confused and that they wanted to keep an eye on him.“I asked why they had tied him to a chair instead of giving him a cot bed, and I was told that the nurse had called another ward and there were no cot beds available,” said Deon.According to Deon, that ward confirmed to him that no one had asked for a cot bed.He alleged that his father also had a gash on his forehead and sores that looked like scratch marks on the side of his head.“I asked the nurses what happened to him, and they told me he had fallen out of bed.“I spoke to the unit manager who said they weren’t aware of the fall. There were no incident reports of him falling out of his bed, which are supposed to be written up and handed to the next shift.”Deon said he was “outraged” at the way his father was being treated.“There is no explanation for this. He is not a dog and not an animal to just be tied to a chair,” he said.KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said the department had noted the allegations “with concern”. “It [the department] views such allegations in a serious light in that if proven to be true, they would be in violation of patient rights and other government policies,” he said.“The hospital management has commenced with labour-related processes aimed at holding implicated staff members accountable.” KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the department would not tolerate the ill-treatment of health care users. He said those who make themselves guilty of ill-treating patients would “bear the consequences”. “It cannot be allowed that a few individual health care workers act in a manner that tarnishes the image of the department and undermines public trust in public health.