Family of 87-year-old man forced to build him shelter out of football goal after 15-hour ambulance wait | UK News
The family of an 87-year-old man were forced to build a makeshift shelter around him using a football goal after he was left waiting 15 hours in the rain for an ambulance.
The great-grandfather, David, suffered serious injuries including seven broken ribs, two fractures to his pelvis and an arm wound after falling over at his home in Cornwall.
His daughter, Karen, and his son-in-law, Trevor, called 999 at 7.30pm on Monday but were left waiting for paramedics until 11.30am the following day.
Operators had told the family not to move David in case it made his injuries worse, forcing them to leave him outside overnight.
Throughout the evening, Karen and Trevor said they made four or five calls to 999, and were given several assurances that paramedics would be with them “soon”.
As it started to pour down with rain, the couple used a football goal, umbrellas and tarpaulin to create a shelter for the pensioner in an attempt to shield him from the elements.
The incident comes amid lengthy waiting times for hospital treatment in Cornwall – with patients saying they have waited outside hospital in ambulances for hours and even days.
‘It was traumatising’
“He was walking to the garage when he tripped and fell over,” said Trevor.
”We dialled 999, but an ambulance didn’t arrive for over 15 hours. We kept ringing and they would say we will be with you soon.
“My wife was a nervous wreck.
”They kept telling us not to move him, so we borrowed a football goal from next door and used a tarpaulin. It was traumatising.”
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David, who lives in the small Cornish village Saint Columb Road, is now recovering at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske.
A spokesperson for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s integrated care system said: “Like other parts of the country, our health and care system continues to experience pressure.
”The reasons for this are complex, including high demand for primary and secondary care, mental health services and adult social care.
“Our teams continue to work together to support people who need our care and we encourage people to use the most appropriate service – including your local pharmacy, minor injury units or 111 online – to keep our emergency departments and 999 service available for people with urgent and life-threatening needs.”
Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been approached for a comment.