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'Distressing' 999 wait highlights South West Ambulance delays

South West Ambulance has the longest waits in the country for people to get through to the operator. It takes almost a minute on average for ambulance control to answer 999 calls compared with just five seconds for the West Midlands service.

Jean and Claire Iles called 999 six times to request an ambulance for Steven Iles' internal bleeding and two of their calls were unanswered for 10 minutes

"He just looked at me and he just passed away before they could even get to him," 41-year-old Claire Iles said.

"I rang about 4pm and said he has gone grey, and I said if you don't come now he is going to die, and it was still 20 minutes before the ambulance turned up."

She was at home with her parents in Yate, near Bristol, when her father, Steve, 63, fell ill.

It took 11 hours for a South West Ambulance crew to arrive, but Jean said by that time it was too late.

Mr Iles died at 17:10 GMT on 19 March from a strangulated hernia that cut off the blood supply to his heart.

The trust has apologised for the distress and anxiety caused but said it remained under "enormous pressure".

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Source: 4 November 2022


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