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Injured 90-year-old, in 40-hour ambulance wait

A 90-year-old woman waited 40 hours for an ambulance after a serious fall.

Stephen Syms said his mother, from Cornwall, fell on Sunday evening and an ambulance arrived on Tuesday afternoon.

She was then in the vehicle for 20 hours at the Royal Cornwall Hospital. It comes as an ambulance trust warns lives are at risk because of delays in patient handovers.

It was also reported a man, 87, who fell, was left under a makeshift shelter waiting for an ambulance.

South Western Ambulance Service said it was "sorry and upset" at the woman's wait for an ambulance.

Mr Syms, from St Stephen, told BBC Radio Cornwall: "We are literally heartbroken to see a 90-year-old woman in such distress, waiting and not knowing if she had broken anything.

"The system is totally broken."

He said it took nine minutes before his 999 call was answered.

"If that was a cardiac arrest, nine minutes is much too long, it's the end of somebody's life," he said.

Mr Syms said paramedics were "absolutely incredible people".

He added: "The system is not deteriorating, it's totally broken and needs to be urgently reviewed."

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Source: BBC News, 19 August 2022


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