Shrewsbury man, 91, died after 10-hour ambulance wait

Ambulance service apologises as family of great grandfather demand more funding.

Don Mansell
Don Mansell

An apology has been made to the family of a great grandfather who had to wait around 10 hours for an ambulance in "excruciating pain" after falling and breaking his hip.

Don Mansell, who has since died, had fallen onto the concrete floor in the kitchen of his home in Shrewsbury on November 28.

His daughter Sue Beesty had been visiting her 91-year-old father at the time and immediately called for an ambulance.

But she says the great grandfather-of-five, who had worked as a carpenter all his life, had to endure a long wait before paramedics arrived.

After being taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, his condition deteriorated and he died days later.

Ms Beesty is now calling for action to stop ambulance delays in the county, blaming a lack of funding for the emergency services.

"My husband and myself had just arrived to see him on Sunday afternoon," she said.

"He was standing facing the counter top. He turned 90 degrees and lost his balance, landing on the concrete floor.

"I rang an ambulance just after 2.30pm but it was the early hours of the morning the next day before it arrived.

"All this time he suffered excruciating pain. He was in so much agony. He kept saying about the ambulance, it must be my turn.

"It was horrible because we couldn't do anything. We had been informed not to move him or to allow him to drink because he might have needed an operation.

"When he got to the hospital he was listed for an operation but then they said his heart was too weak."

Mr Mansell's health deteriorated in hospital and he died on December 3.

Delays handing patients over from ambulances to hospitals mean the region's ambulance service is under unprecedented pressure. West Midlands Ambulance Service has warned patients are being put at "catastrophic risk" with paramedics unable to respond to jobs due to being held up at hospitals.

Last week, 63 per cent of patients taken to hospital in Shrewsbury or Telford waited more than 30 minutes to be handed over by ambulance crews.

Mrs Beesty said: "I'm saddened. It was distressing not only for him but me as well because I felt helpless.

"What is happening in Shropshire? All our services are being eroded.

"He lived in Shrewsbury about three miles from the hospital.

"Something needs to be done so other people don't get put in that situation.

"We are told the changeover at the hospitals are delaying things.

"There's a lack of funding to provide sufficient beds for the emergency services.

"I don't understand how the ambulances have come to such a full stop."

West Midlands Ambulance Service has apologised for the delay in responding to Mr Mansell.

A WMAS spokesperson said: "Paramedics in our control room spoke to the caller with the patient several times to check his condition.

"Unfortunately, high levels of demand from people with life-threatening conditions sometimes mean we are not able to respond to incidents as quickly as our patients would want.

"We are working closely with all local NHS partners to reduce delays and we continue to bolster frontline and control room staffing as part of a range of measures to help manage the current high levels of demand."

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