Pensioner left ‘moaning in agony’ during TEN HOUR wait for an ambulance

Pensioner Emlyn Roberts fell while walking along a road in Colwyn Bay at roughly 12.30pm last Tuesday – by the time the ambulance arrived he’d been on the ground for 10 hours

A 69-year-old man was left “moaning in agony” on the pavement during a ten-hour wait for an ambulance

An elderly man was left “moaning in agony” on the pavement during a ten-hour wait for an ambulance.

Pensioner Emlyn Roberts fell while walking along a road in Colwyn Bay town center just after midnight last Tuesday.

He was walking through the town when he tripped and sustained serious injuries – leaving him in excruciating pain, his family told Daily Post Wales.

Members of the public found him lying on the pavement complaining of pain in his hip.

When they phoned for an ambulance, they were told by the call handler to expect delays.

An ambulance finally arrived just before 11pm – he had been on the hard ground for more than ten hours, his sister-in-law Lynn Roberts said.

She said: “He was left for ten hours lying on the concrete, you can forgive a couple of hours, even a few hours if necessary, but ten hours is just not acceptable.”

Pensioner Emlyn Roberts fell while walking on Tuesday 29 March


Daily Post Wales)

Among those who stopped to help was an off-duty volunteer first responder, who stayed by Mr Roberts’ side until the ambulance came, according to Lynn.

She said local businesses and passers-by showed “incredible kindness”, bringing blankets and hot water bottles to keep them warm as day turned to night.

Lynn said: “He’d been waiting for hours and the first responder had been phoning the ambulance people for updates but he was politely told to stop phoning.

“It was at that point I did get quite angry because my brother-in-law was lying on the floor, moaning in agony, and I couldn’t do anything to help him.

“I spoke to someone and she said ‘you’ll just have to wait, we’re doing what we can’. I said to her, ten hours is ridiculous.”

She added: “We could’ve got him there much quicker ourselves but we didn’t want to risk moving him by lifting him into the car in case there was untold damage. But I’ve got to say, the people of Colwyn Bay were unbelievable.

Ambulances parked at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd A&E in Denbighshire


Daily Post Wales)

“The passers-by and shopkeepers were wishing him well, phoning ambulances, they were amazing. A member of the public had phoned the fire service and they came out too, and they did a marvelous job of managing the situation.”

According to Mr Roberts’ family, this is the second time something like this has happened within a matter of weeks. Lynn claims Mr Roberts was taken to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd by ambulance on February 2, following a fall and waited more than 12 hours to be seen before doctors discovered he had broken his hip and his back.

Lynn said: “I don’t think there’s enough staff in the hospital to deal with the influx of patients. It’s not just the wait for the ambulance, there’s ambulances queuing outside hospitals because there’s not enough people to treat them.”

At roughly 10.45pm, officers from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the scene, shortly followed by the Welsh Ambulance Service. Mr Roberts was taken by ambulance to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, where he is believed to be receiving treatment for a broken hip.

Sonia Thompson, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Director of Operations for the Emergency Medical Service, said: “There has been very high demand for our services this week, and this – coupled with the pressures across the entire urgent care system, including extensive hospital handover delays. – has meant that some patients have waited much longer for our help, sometimes many hours.

“Regrettably, Mr Roberts was among those patients and we are deeply sorry for what will have been a distressing experience for all involved.

“We are actively engaged with colleagues across the health system to help improve flow so that ambulances can be released from emergency departments – being rendered unable to respond to the community in a timely way is frustrating for us as it is for patients.

“In the meantime, the public can help by using our services appropriately – if it’s not a serious or life-threatening emergency, the first port of call should be the NHS 111 Wales website for advice, or local GP, pharmacist or Minor Injuries Unit We would welcome contact should the family wish to explore our response further.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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