THE WELSH AMBULANCE SERVICE, MAINTAINING ITS REPUTATION as the worst segment of Britain’s National Health Service ambulance divisions, took an agonizingly-long three hours to respond to an elderly woman who was laying on the floor in pain after a fall.
Hilda Davis, 75, fractured her hip when she fell in her home Tuesday afternoon at 2:15. Mrs. Davis resides in a “sheltered accomodation” facility and when the home wardens found her 30 minutes later, they called 9-9-9 immediately. But the ambulance did not arrive until 6 pm. WalesOnline continues:
(Her son Mark) Davis, 50, who is a chiropodist, said: “I had a call saying that mum had a fall and as I had another couple of appointments to do, I assumed that the ambulance was en route and that I would meet mum in A&E.
“I called the warden as I was heading for A&E only to be told that mum was still there waiting for an ambulance.
“I headed straight for her home and the medics finally arrived at about 6pm – they were embarrassed that mum had been on the floor there for three hours.
“They did their best for her and got her to A&E.”
He added: “We’ve been let down by the ambulance service – not by the staff who are doing the best they can but by the service itself.
“This is not a service. For someone to be waiting three hours-plus, that’s not a service, especially for the elderly.”
The officials at the Welsh Ambulance Service are taking the same action that they do for all the other significant delayed calls, they issued a statement. “We would like to apologise for any distress caused by the delayed response of the service.”
This follows on the heels of another remarkable event this past Saturday when a 79-yr.-old man was left laying and bleeding from a severe head injury for 2-½ hours before an ambulance arrived. The ambulance was called at 4 pm and major head injuries are supposed to be moved up to a priority 1 level of dispatch. The ambulance eventually arrived at 6:30.
Miss Harvey, 49, from Whitchurch, said: “We didn’t know what to do for the best – we thought about driving him because none of us had been drinking.
“But because he had hit his head so hard we were worried that something would happen on the way to hospital if it was just me and him in the car.
“We felt that calling an ambulance was the best thing to do – I now wish I’d taken him to hospital myself.”
Being delivered to the University Hospital of Wales wasn’t the end of his woes, however. He was left waiting there for nearly six hours before he was seen and then a doctor finally got to him at 2 am. The Welsh Ambulance Service jumped into action by issuing their standard statement, “We apologise for any delay which may have occurred in this incident. We are unable to comment on individual cases but clearly this is an issue we are taking seriously and an investigation will be conducted.”
Ahhhh….nationalized health service.