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93-year-old left ‘screaming in pain’ on floor during 25-hour ambulance wait

The Welsh ambulance service has apologised after a 93-year-old woman was left “screaming in pain” while lying on the floor with a broken hip during a 25-hour ambulance wait.

Elizabeth Davies fell at her care home on Saturday and was finally picked up at 1.15pm on Sunday and admitted to Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital in Bangor on Monday, where she endured another 12-hour wait before being admitted to a ward. A hip fracture was later confirmed in surgery.

Her family have said the incident, which occurred before a 24-hour strike on Wednesday by ambulance workers, was “unacceptable”. Her son, Ian Davies, from Pwllheli, said: “It was very upsetting to have to see her lying on the floor screaming in pain for over 24 hours.”

After her injury, staff at the care home, where Davies has lived for 17 years, are understood to have propped a pillow under her head and tried to make her comfortable on the wooden floor, using a small heater to keep her warm in case she went into shock, as well as providing an absorbent pad so she could urinate.

Her son, a community care worker, said: “They called for an ambulance but were advised an ambulance wouldn’t be available for six to eight hours as they were so busy.

“They said my mother would be a priority because of her age. The care home then called us and we came immediately.

“I don’t blame the ambulance staff because they are told what jobs to do and my mother wasn’t on the list.”

It is understood the care home made nine calls, with a 10th made by Ian Davies.

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Source: The Guardian, 20 December 2022


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