Grandmother, 88, has 20-HOUR wait for an ambulance after fall at home

An 88-year-old woman had to wait 20 hours for an ambulance to take her to hospital after a fall at her home.

Ambulance delays are ongoing
Ambulance delays are ongoing

Patricia Jones, from Oswestry, who suffered nasty eye and nose injuries, couldn't be taken to A&E by her family because her mobility problems mean she can't use their cars.

They sat up all night with her waiting for help to arrive.

While not blaming the ambulance service, they say the broken NHS and social care system desperately needs more funding.

West Midlands Ambulance Service apologised, saying long hospital delays left crews caring for patients who needed admitting to hospital rather than responding to the next call.

It said that at one point during the time Mrs Jones was waiting, of 24 ambulances on duty in Shropshire, 12 were waiting to hand their patient over at hospital and a further six were en route to hospital with a patient.

Mrs Jones's granddaughter, Nikki Hughes, said her Nan, who lives in the College Road area, fell on Thursday afternoon, with the family alerted when carers, who help her each day, arrived just before 5pm.

They rang 999, explaining that they could not get her out of the house and to the hospital themselves.

Call handlers warned that on Thursday evening Shropshire was the busiest patch in the entire West Midlands Ambulance Region and that there would be a delay.

Her daughter, Mal Jones, rang again at 3.10am on Friday and again at 10.27am.

Eventually an ambulance crew arrived at 12.55pm and Mrs Jones was taken to hospital.

Nikki said: "Her eye looks dreadful and we were pretty sure she would need stitches on the bridge of her nose.

"We rang Shropdoc but were told it does not go out to patients and then when we rang the GP in the morning they said Nan would probably have to go to hospital anyway and also contacted the ambulance service on our behalf.

"I completely understand that it not the ambulance service's fault - the funding is just not there," she said.

"There are no hospital beds and so ambulances are waiting at the hospital for hours and hours."

"It has been so upsetting for Nan and the family. Mum stayed with her all night. She has COPD and so can't lie on her back but she couldn't lie on her side because of her injury."

Nikki added: "We can't keep blaming the Covid pandemic for the NHS problems, its been almost three years now."

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said it received a 999 call at 4.48pm on Thursday and two further calls at 3.10am and 10.27am.

An ambulance arrived on scene at 12.55pm on Friday and Mrs Jones was conveyed to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

“We would like to apologise to the patient for the delayed response.

“The ambulance service relies on each part of the health and social care system working together so that our ambulances can get to patients in the community quickly. Sadly, the pressures we are seeing in health and social care lead to long hospital handover delays, with our crews left caring for patients that need admitting to hospital rather than responding to the next call. The result is that our crews are delayed reaching patients."

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News