- Elderly walker, 80, waited for four hours for an ambulance that never showed up
- He sustained a serious head injury after falling in a country lane in North Wales
- Man began to lose consciousness and experience hypothermia after three hours
- Repeated calls were made to 999 before man’s wife finally drove him to hospital
Ambulance chiefs have apologised after an elderly man waited four hours for an ambulance which never showed up.
The 80-year-old pedestrian was left bleeding on the roadside after sustaining a serious head injury when he fell in a country lane on Saturday.
Jonathan Greatorex, 53, who owns the nearby Hand Hotel and Spa at Llanarmon, near Wrexham, raced back to his hotel to fetch first-aid equipment in a frantic bid to help the injured man, who was bleeding from his head.
The elderly walker started to lose consciousness and experience hypothermia after three hours of waiting for help which never came.
Calls were made to 999 but no ambulance arrived after four hours.
Mr Greatorex said he was finally able to contact the man’s wife who then drove him to hospital for treatment.
An 80-year-old walker (pictured) waited four hours for an ambulance after sustaining a serious head injury while walking in Llanarmon near Wrexham, North Wales – and it never showed up
Hotel owner Jonathan Greatorex, 53, (pictured) leapt into action with his first aid training and helped stem the bleeding from the man’s serious head injury
He said: ‘I managed to get the bleeding under control and having dialled 999 I was told not to move him.
‘After three hours of waiting for an ambulance by the road side, hypothermia started to set in and he was losing consciousness.
‘I took him to my home, just down the road and when, after four hours, the ambulance hadn’t turned up, we managed to get hold of his wife who drove him to hospital.’
Mr Greatorex added: ‘The staff at 999 were excellent but were unable to give me any updates or info as to where or when the ambulance would arrive.
‘This is simply not acceptable in rural communities such as ours.’
Mr Greatorex, who owns The Hand Hotel and Spa in North Wales (pictured) was finally able to contact the man’s wife who then drove him to hospital for treatment
Judith Bryce, Assistant Director of Operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS), has now apologised to the injured man.
She said: ‘We would like to extend our sincere apologies to the patient after what must have been a distressing and traumatic incident.
‘This is not the service that we want to offer.
‘We are working hard with health board colleagues and Welsh Government to find solutions to the ongoing system wide issues which lead to long waits in the community for ambulances, as we know we need to improve the experience for people across Wales.’
WAS was inundated with calls over the weekend, prompting the service to declare an ‘extraordinary incident’ on Sunday night.
The declaration was stood down on Monday, but executive director of operations at the service Lee Brookes said significant pressures remained.
‘When crews are tied up at emergency departments, they’re not able to respond to other 999 calls, which is why some patients in the community are waiting a long time for our help, sometimes many hours,’ he said.