100-year-old woman left waiting for an ambulance for six hours

THE family of a 100-year-old woman from Wilton who was left waiting for an ambulance for six hours are calling for answers.

Eddie Clarke says his mother fell while she was in the bathroom on Monday, May 24 and was found by her carers who called the ambulance service straight away at about 8.15am.

However, it wasn’t until 1.15pm that paramedics finally arrived.

The elderly woman was left on her bathroom floor unable to move the entire time.

The ambulance service says patients who are most in need of emergency care, such as those who are unconscious, not breathing or bleeding heavily “must be prioritised”, meaning others could face a longer wait.

Her leg was ‘trapped’

Mr Clarke said he received a call from the carers who were unable to move his mother who was stuck between the wall and the toilet.

“At that time I anticipated a wait but I thought I’ll let them deal with it. But later on I got another call to say there was still no ambulance and they had rung three times,” said Mr Clarke, who lives in the Southampton area.

“They had been promised a first responder and nobody turned up.

“They were still unable to move her and she had her leg trapped underneath her frame with the weight of her body holding that down.”

Mr Clarke then drove to his mother’s home.

He added: “I fully expected by the time I got up there that the ambulance would be there dealing with it. But when I got there there was no sign of an ambulance.

“She was still laying on the floor where she was, unable to move, and she’s 100 years old and I don’t really think she should be there.”

He says around five or six calls were made as well as using an emergency pendant.

At the time, Mr Clarke says they did not know if she had broken a bone.

“I don’t know what resources they’ve got.

“It would be interesting to know if it was a normal night, how many people were working compared to a normal night and how many incidents there were compared to an average night. How they rate the importance of the individuals.

“I would like to know those things.”

‘It beggars belief’

Mr Clarke says when paramedics finally arrived at 1.15pm it took four people, including himself, to get his mother out.

“She shouldn’t have gone through it. To be left stuck behind a toilet for six hours at 100 it’s not on.”

His wife Glynis added: “It is horrendous they could leave her like that.

“It beggars belief. I’m so angry about it.”

Mr Clarke’s mother was taken to hospital but released the next day. She had a bruise to her face and cuts on her legs.

A ‘high’ demand

A South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “We work extremely hard to manage the high demand on our service and the finite supply of resources we have.

“Although all of our patients are important to us, we must prioritise patients who are most of need of emergency care, such as those who are unconscious, not breathing or bleeding heavily.

“Sometimes this means it takes us longer than we would like to reach other patients.

“We ask people only to call 999 for an ambulance in a medical emergency when someone is seriously injured or ill, and their life is at risk.

“We encourage people to contact NHS 111 about non-life threatening but urgent medical problems.”

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