An elderly cancer patient was forced to wait seven hours in the rain for an ambulance, despite living just meters from a hospital.
Keith Royles, 85, broke his hip while mowing grass and was forced to wait for an ambulance in a town in north-east Wales.
His family explained that Mr Royles’s home in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, was directly opposite his local hospital, but paramedics did not arrive on the scene.
Mr. Royles was forced to lie on his patio in the rain for seven hours while his family tried to keep him dry by erecting a shelter over him.
Cancer patient Keith Royles (pictured), 85, broke his hip while mowing grass and was forced to wait for an ambulance in a north-east Wales village.
Mr. Royles (pictured) was forced to lie on his patio in the rain for seven hours while his family tried to keep it dry by erecting a shelter over it.
The long wait was despite the fact that she lived across the road from the main Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital (pictured)
His daughter Tina said: ‘We called an ambulance and were told there would be a four to seven hour wait for an ambulance.
“We called several times and my sister even tried to call an ambulance, but they said they couldn’t help.”
He lives across the road from the main Ysbyty Glan Clwyd hospital which serves his part of North Wales.
But when paramedics arrived, they were told to take Mr Royles to another hospital more than 30 miles away in Bangor, as the one in front of his house was “too busy”.
Tina said the family was able to successfully argue for her father, who is suffering from terminal cancer, to take over the road from their home.
The shelter that Mr. Royles’s family erected for him in their yard after he was forced to wait seven hours for an ambulance.
“We are deeply sorry for the experience of Mr Royles (pictured), which was certainly a painful and anxious wait for all involved,” said Lee Brooks, Executive Director of Operations for the Welsh Ambulance Service.
Speaking to the S4C Y Byd ar Bedwar programme, he said: “As a family, we are not blaming the staff, but the system is broken.”
“I feel sorry for the people who have gotten into the service because it must be very frustrating and heartbreaking to be in that situation.
They must be leaving in droves.
Lee Brooks, Executive Director of Operations for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We are deeply sorry for Mr Royles’ experience, which was certainly a painful and anxious wait for all involved.
‘Hospital handover delays remain the main reason we are unable to reach some patients quickly. It will take a system-wide effort to solve a system-wide problem.’
In August, a Welsh Health Inspectorate report found “risks to patients” and “significant concerns” in the hospital’s A&E department.
Angela Wood, director of nursing and midwifery at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Board of Health, said the report was being taken “very seriously”.
She said: “We have a director of improvement that we have appointed who is supporting staff and working with staff on the ground to identify what were the issues, what were the barriers to delivering the best possible care, and then putting things in their place to help support them.’
In August, a Welsh Health Inspectorate report found “risks to patients” and “significant concerns” in the A&E department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Hospital (entrance sign pictured)
This comes as ambulance crews in England and Wales announced today that they will be on strike over the Christmas period.
More than 10,000 ambulance workers will leave on December 21 and 28 as the walkout will see paramedics, emergency care attendants, call handlers and other staff in the ongoing pay dispute.
Unions Unite and Unison have also said their ambulance workers will leave on December 21 as the NHS could come to a standstill in the days leading up to Christmas.
There are also fears that the NHS will suffer its worst winter on record as it struggles to deal with ambulance delays, bed shortages, A&E chaos and a chronic staffing crisis.
Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Last week we recorded excess mortality across the UK of an additional 900 people.” There are many causes of this, but we think that problems with urgent and emergency care probably contribute to about a quarter of this.’