Woman speaks of 'horrifying' ordeal waiting 17 hours for an ambulance after having seizure at home

"I scrambled downstairs and sat on the sofa crying, waiting for someone to come."

A 42-year-old woman from Telford has spoken of her ordeal waiting 17 hours for an ambulance after having a seizure at home.

Jenny Long, who lives in Donnington, suffered a fall on the morning of Monday, October 31, which then brought on a seizure. She has lived with non-epileptic attack disorder for some years.

After coming round, Jenny noticed that she had injured her knee, which appeared to be swelling and getting hotter to the touch.

Despite painkillers, and her husband's efforts to get her onto her bed to rest it, Jenny said the pain was getting worse.

At around 2.10pm on Monday, Jenny said she made her first call to 111 and said the operator informed her there would be a six-hour wait for an ambulance.

Over the next 15 hours Jenny made four further calls to both 111 and 999 – at 4pm, 10pm, 2am and 5am – as she said the pain was getting worse.

An ambulance arrived at her home at about 7.15am the next morning, Jenny said.

Jenny said: "I was scared because I was thinking 'how long am I going to be sat here for?'.

"It was such an ordeal, I have waited a while before – six hours –but when it got going through the night and it's gone 17 hours it was ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous."

West Midlands Ambulance Service apologised, saying the pressures it is seeing in health and social care lead to long hospital handover delays with crews left caring for patients that need admitting to hospital rather than responding to the next call.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to the patient and her family 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.

“We are working incredibly hard with all of our NHS and social care partners to prevent these delays, looking at new ways to safely hand over patients quickly so that our crews can respond more rapidly and save more lives.

“At the time, the trust were experiencing long handover delays at a number of hospitals.”

WMAS said Jenny's call was classed as a category three call, the second lowest priority, where an ambulance should get to 90 per cent of calls within two hours.

The ambulance service said it received a 111 call at 3.34pm on Monday, October 31 and a number of subsequent calls, where Jenny provided additional information about her condition, which she had not originally disclosed.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said teams arrived at 06.50am the following day where Jenny was taken to Princess Royal Hospital.

When the paramedics arrived at her home, Jenny said they were "lovely" and she "could not fault them". They apparently started their shift at 6am and came straight out to her.

The ambulance took Jenny to The Princess Royal Hospital, where she said they informed her that around seven ambulances were waiting in front to handover patients.

Jenny said she was taken inside the hospital at around 9.30am where she was placed in a corridor with two other patients.

A doctor came and examined her leg, but Jenny said there was no screen for privacy.

"It was just horrifying", Jenny said, "and I really cannot make it up."

Jenny's x-ray came back clear, but she said she couldn't put any weight on the leg and referred to the situation as something out of a horror film.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been contacted for comment.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News