Patient with badly broken leg lay in street for 12 hours waiting for ambulance

A woman who broke her leg falling on the pavement outside her Shropshire home was forced to lie in the street for 12 hours waiting for an ambulance.

Lynne Jones and her husband, Bryn
Lynne Jones and her husband, Bryn

Lynne Jones, from Llynclys near Oswestry, spent the night in agony with a neighbour, a trainee paramedic, by her side.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) spokeswoman today apologised to the patient for the delayed response.

Mrs Jones' trauma is the latest incident in which seriously ill or injured patients have had to wait for hours for help.

Long hospital handover waits have been cited as the main reason for severely long ambulance response times.

Her son, Simon Jones, says his mother's experience was totally unacceptable and that the time has come for a nationwide action plan to be drawn up to deal with the NHS crisis.

Mr Jones said his 62-year-old mother had been on the pavement outside the family home in Llynclys when she fell at about 4.30pm on Friday afternoon.

"My father heard her scream and went outside along with neighbours," he said.

One of the neighbours was trainee paramedic Lisa Hughes.

"They rang 999 and Lisa began caring for my mother immediately," he said.

He said his mother's injuries had been very obviously too serious for anyone to take her to hospital in a car.

"She lay on that street all night. She was in absolute agony and could not even have painkillers.

"Lisa was the absolute hero of the night. She stayed with her the whole time, made her as comfortable as possible and even lay by her side during the night."

Mr Jones said he had been unable to get to Llynclys to be with his mother but his sister Charlotte drove to Llynclys, arriving at midnight.

"The neighbours were great, offering help."

The family continued making calls to find out when help would arrive, throughout the night.

"It got to the stage where, if we could have paid for a private ambulance we would have."

An ambulance finally arrived at 3.40am and Mrs Jones was taken to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

She was taken into surgery and her badly broken leg had to be pinned.

Mr Jones was with his mother at the hospital.

"We then had to wait all day until a bed on a ward could be found for her."

The spokeswoman for WMAS said: “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.

“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.”

Mr Jones said he had empathy with the plight of the ambulance and hospital staff and said everyone they had contact with at the hospital had been wonderful.

But he said something had to be done to mend the NHS.

"Since the pandemic there seems now to be a general acceptance that long waits for ambulances and at hospital are now the norm. But something has to change.

"There has to be an action plan at both local and national level."

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