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WHY WAS OUR JOHN LEFT WAITING FOR HOURS FOR AN AMBULANCE? 3; Disabled man also had nine-hour wait lying on A&E trolley.

Byline: OLIVIA RUDGARD ECHO Reporter olivia.rudgard@trinitymirror.com olivia.rudgard@

A DISABLED man who fell and cut his head lay on a bathroom floor for three hours waiting for an ambulance to take him to hospital and then spent nine hours on a trolley in A&E. His shocked family said that, even when he was allowed home after being seen, his wound had not been cleaned up.

A carer for John Terry called an ambulance at 4.30pm on Monday after he fell and hit his head at Willow Bank assisted living accommodation, in Wallasey.

She said it was almost 8pm before paramedics arrived, meaning Mr Terry, 62, who has epilepsy and mobility and memory problems, had been forced to spend 31/4 hours lying on the cold bathroom floor.

Pam Maddock, 60, who is also his full-time carer, said: "It was really distressing to watch him like that, on the floor.

"He's such a lovely person, he never complains about anything. We were so worried about him."

She said he was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital where he was left on a trolley in a waiting area.

Mrs Maddock said that, at 2am, a loudspeaker announcement was made telling patients that there would be a five to six hour wait to see a doctor, and if they could they should return the next day or go elsewhere.

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She added that, at 4am, the corridor was still full of trolleys with patients waiting to be seen.

liverpoolecho.echolive Blood tests and X-rays were eventually taken and Mr Terry was sent home at 5am - but Mrs Maddock said his head wound had not been cleaned up and he had not been helped after soiling himself.

She said he suffered an epileptic fit when he got home, his first in six months, and is now afraid to get off his chair in case he falls again.

Mrs Maddock said the experience had shaken her confidence in the NHS. She added: "It's just not like it used to be. They're so short-staffed. They just haven't got time. We have not had a good time with him.

"You just don't realise that your sibling is going to deteriorate. It's just been hard."

A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: "We understand that waiting for an ambulance can be distressing and we are sorry for any upset caused to the patient.

"We received an emergency '999' call at 16.28 for this incident. Unfortunately, due to the current high demand, the ambulance arrived at the property at 19.43.

"We apologise that the patient had to wait for an emergency vehicle. We would ask the patient and their families to contact us directly to discuss any concerns regarding the service we provide."

Sharon Gilligan, Director of Operations at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: "As highlighted in the national media, all A&E departments are experiencing extreme demand on their emergency services.

"The situation at our Trust is no different to what is happening elsewhere in the country. We are seeing an increasing number of patients who have complex underlying health problems as well as experiencing an unprecedented number of patients arriving by ambulance.

"Staff in our Emergency Department and throughout our hospitals are working extremely hard to provide patients with the best possible care and we can only apologise if patients are currently experiencing a longer wait than we would normally strive to achieve.

"Please be assured that patients coming into A&E are clinically triaged and assessed. Priority will always be given to those who are most unwell and appropriate decisions made to either admit or discharge home."

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"The Service is currently experiencing an unprecedented amount of emergency '999' calls. Between December 14, 2014, and January 5, 2015, we answered 84,858 emergency '999' calls; an increase of 15.5% compared to the same time period last year.

CAPTION(S):

John Terry, from | |Wallasey, had to wait nearly four hours for an ambulance after falling in his bathroom. John is cared for by his sister Pam Maddock, pictured

Picture: GARETH JONES
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 8, 2015
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