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Guildford pensioner: "I waited NINE hours for ambulance"

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Guildford pensioner: "I waited NINE hours for ambulance"

Published at 6:01am 1st June 2017. (Updated at 9:56am 1st June 2017)

A Guildford man says he was put through torture after his 76 year-old father was forced to wait nine hours for an ambulance over the weekend.

Stephen Purser's dad, Alan, suffers from vascular and alzheimer's dementia and on Sunday night nurses at his care home dialled 999 as they thought he had a blood clot in his leg.

He and his sister were told there would be a two hour wait for an ambulance, but Stephen tells Eagle that turned into nine hours: "We just looked at each other and thought we must be living in some third world country.

"I can't understand how in this day and age we would have to wait nine hours for what potentially could have been a life threatening condition.

"I just hope this situation never has to arrive again where we would be put through that torture of having to wait nine hours for the ambulance service to arrive to and look at my dad."

Stephen said he would have taken his father to hospital himself, although due to his condition he was advised it would be better to have an ambulance arrive to assess him.

Stephen Purser

Stephen Purser

When the ambulance did arrive the problem did not turn out to be a blood clot, Stephen's father was actually suffering with cellulitis.

He was examined, prescribed strong antibiotics to resolve the problem and did not have to go to hospital.

South East Coast Ambulance has since apologised for the delay and in a statement a trust spokesperson said: "South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust would like to apologise for the delay in responding to this emergency. 

"With demands placed on our service and delays at hospitals waiting to hand over patients increasing, there are times when we are taking longer than we would like to reach some patients, and in particular those in a non life-threatening condition. 

"In such circumstances we do provide advice that should a patient’s condition deteriorate, they should call us back for further advice or if necessary to have the emergency reassessed.

"We always take concerns raised seriously and would invite the patient or his son and daughter to contact us directly so we can look into this incident in more detail."


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