OAP from Flintshire waited in pain for two hours an ambulance

Reporter:

David Humphreys

A woman aged 101 was left “screaming in agony” as she waited two hours for an ambulance.

Caroline Bellis lives at the Marleyfield House care home in Buckley and fell on Sunday evening as she stood up from her chair.

Her daughter Moira Owen said staff at the home contacted her at 5.30pm on Sunday after calling for an ambulance.

“My mum is mobile – she’s fit and active for her age," said Mrs Owen.

“She was getting up from having her tea, stood up, then fell.

“The staff rang for an ambulance straight away and their instruction was not to move her.

“Then they called me and my sister and we got there about 6pm

“When we got there the staff were with her and she was lying on the floor where she fell with a blanket on her and a cushion under her head.

“She was in agony as we waited for the ambulance. My mum couldn’t understand why we were leaving her there.

“I twice went back to the office and rang the ambulance again.

I don’t think I’ve ever pleaded with anyone before to do anything but I pleaded with them to send an ambulance.

“They asked if she was breathing and if she was conscious – but couldn’t give me any idea of how long they would be.

“They said the usual thing that they were busy and had to prioritise the cases.

“They took my mobile number and said they would get a trained clinician to call me – but what good that would do, I don’t know!

“When I went back she was screaming in agony on the floor and it was absolutely heartbreaking.

“What's so distressing is my mum’s been at the home for 15 years and the staff do everything they can to keep her dignity.

“For us and them, the worst thing was to have to lose her dignity.

“It took two hours for the ambulance to arrive but she did get five star treatment from them.

“They took her to the Maelor Hospital and she had no breaks – which was a relief because she had a full hip replacement at 96.

“They kept her in overnight and she was allowed home the next afternoon. 

“My dad Ted was an ambulance man and he was awarded the BEM for his services.

“He would be crying in his grave if he could see my mum left like that.” 

Mrs Bellis lived in Mold most of her life and worked in the chemical weapons factory in Rhydymwyn during the Second World War.

She has lived at the council-run care home for 15 and her family say they have nothing by praise for the care she has received.

Wayne Davies, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s locality manager for Flintshire and Wrexham, said: “We would like to apologise to Mrs Bellis for the wait she experienced as we appreciate how distressing it would have been.

“Unfortunately when this call was received, all of our available ambulances and crews were either committed to other patients in the community or handing over at hospitals, where we encountered handover delays on Sunday.

“While we must prioritise calls, this does not represent the experience we want to provide, and in certain areas of Wales we are trialling different ways to improve our response to patients like Mrs Bellis who have fallen.

“This includes specialist falls teams, community wardens and community first responders.

“If Mrs Bellis’s family would like to discuss their concerns with us, we would be more than happy to do so. In the meantime we wish Mrs Bellis all the very best for her recovery.”

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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