92-year-old in severe pain left waiting 14 hours for Ambulance

A 92-year-old woman was left waiting 14 hours for an Ambulance after sustaining an injury to her back and suffering from chest pains. Olwen Simpson (pictured), who lives in Cynwyl Elfed had been at home on Saturday afternoon when she suddenly felt severe pain in her back. Her daughter who lives a few doors down was quick to respond.

Mrs Simpson was sitting in a recliner unable to move because of the pain. Her daughter quickly called the Ambulance Service at 5:13PM and was told that the wait could be up to eight hours. A further call was made and she was told that Mrs Simpson had been upgraded to an orange alert which meant that the Ambulance might have arrived sooner. Unfortunately, Mrs Simpson was not transported by Ambulance to hospital until 7:45AM the following day.

By this time, Mrs Simpson had not had much to eat or drink because she was feeling so unwell. When she arrived at Glangwili Hospital, there was no bed available and she had to remain in the Ambulance for a further twelve hours. When her daughter returned to check on her, she observed that there were twelve other ambulances waiting outside the hospital with patients onboard. She also found that her mother, Mrs Simpson, had not received any liquids and appeared to be showing signs of dehydration.

Mrs Simpson’s daughter, Elizabeth Evans, said that this could have led to complications as Mrs Simpson only has one kidney. Elizabeth went on to say that she was grateful for the help and kindness shown by the paramedics, but expressed her shock and worry over the state of the NHS in Wales.

Elizabeth spent twelve years working in A&E and is no stranger to dealing with medical emergencies. Speaking to Carmarthenshire News Online, Elizabeth said that it is now dangerous to become ill or to have an accident. She said “It saddens me to see how far things have deteriorated within the NHS in Wales.”

Mrs Simpson was discharged and returned home. Unfortunately, within 24 hours, Mrs Simpson was in agonising pain again, suffering from chest pains and rushed into Glangwili hospital where she is now awaiting a bed.

Lee Brooks, Executive Director of Operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We are deeply sorry to hear about Mrs Simpson’s experience, which no doubt would have been a distressing wait for help.

“This is not the standard of service we want to provide, nor is it the standard of service that the public has a right to expect.

“While the challenges of ambulances delayed at hospital as a result of pressures across the NHS are well documented, it is important that we look at what we do as an ambulance service to better serve patients like Mrs Simpson.

“More ambulances are not the solution. The demands placed on our ambulance service is likely to continue to shift as more people live longer and do so with health conditions. Earlier involvement of our paramedics and nurses in our clinical contact centres when patients call could help ensure that patients who desperately need an ambulance get help quicker.

“We would invite Mrs Simpson or a representative to contact our Putting Things Right team directly so that we can better understand their experience and investigate appropriately.”

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