An elderly woman spent hours in pain while waiting for paramedics to arrive and receive medical attention after falling from a mobility scooter. Unfortunately, her agony did not end here, as she was forced to spend much more time waiting outside the hospital for a bed to become available.
79-year-old Ann was riding her mobility scooter when she lost control and fell into the road. She remained there for two hours until EMS arrived. After that, she waited outside of the hospital for the better part of a day and into the night until a bed became available. According to Ann, she waited over 20 hours.
According to her son, Ron, the wait was incredibly stressful.
“My mother is my main priority, and I feel that a 79-year-old with chronic COPD, with a broken hip, it can’t be right that she’s been in an ambulance for over 20 hours. It goes beyond being annoyed, you’re almost disbelieving that that can happen in this day and age. She had wonderful care because she had two paramedics there, but the discomfort and worry of being on a trolley in an ambulance, it’s not a hospital bed,” Ron said.
Ron pointed out that his mother, Ann, was not the only one forced to wait in the back of an ambulance.
“There were more than 20 ambulances at one point, it’s inhumane I think, that her priority is down the list, that it takes 20 odd hours for her to be put in a bed in a hospital-then we’re in dire straits aren’t we?” Ron added.
The chief executive officer of the hospital, Kate, has publicly apologized for the inconvenience caused by the delay.
“We are very sorry that she had to wait so long for the urgent care that she needed, this is not the level of care that we aspire to provide. When a patient arrives at hospital by ambulance, they are assessed by a member of the emergency department team, the assessment may include x-rays, scans and other initial tests. Those most critically ill will be admitted straight away. When a patient isn’t admitted straight away, their care remains with the ambulance service until the hospital can accept them. We are working hard to return services to what we would expect and want for our loved ones, and we thank our colleagues for their continued efforts,” Kate said.
Delays in handover occur if there are insufficient beds in the facility to accommodate newly admitted patients.
Ann has successfully undergone hip replacement surgery since.