February 5, 2023

An 85-year-old cancer patient had to wait seven hours in the rain for an ambulance, despite being only meters away from a hospital.

Keith Royles broke his hip mowing the lawn at home in the village of Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire.

His family called 999 but was told they would have to wait between four and seven hours, even though the local hospital is right across from his home.

Photos released on Tuesday showed Mr Royles covered with a tarpaulin and an umbrella over his head to keep out the rain during the agonizing wait.

His daughter Tina Royles said “the system is broken”, adding it “must be so frustrating and heartbreaking” for staff working in the NHS.

The Wales Ambulance Service apologized for the delay that occurred in September, but said “hospital transfer delays remain the biggest reason why we are unable to reach some patients quickly”.

Ms Royles said: “We called an ambulance and were told there would be a four to seven hour wait.

“We called several times and my sister even tried to call an ambulance, but they said they couldn’t help.”

Mr Royles lives opposite the large Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Hospital which serves his part of North Wales.

But when paramedics arrived, they were told to take Mr. Royles to another hospital, more than 30 miles away in Bangor, as the hospital opposite his home was “too busy”.

Ms Royles said the family has been able to successfully advocate for her father, who is suffering from terminal cancer, to be taken from his home by road.

‘The system is broken’

Speaking to S4C program Y Byd ar Bedwar, she said: “As a family, we don’t blame the staff, but the system is broken.”

“I feel sorry for the people who have enlisted because it must be so frustrating and heartbreaking to be in that situation.

“They have to leave en masse.”

Lee Brooks, executive director of operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We are deeply sorry about Mr Royles’ experience, which was undoubtedly a painful and anxious wait for all involved.

“Hospital transfer delays remain the biggest reason why we are unable to reach some patients quickly. It will take a system-wide effort to fix a system-wide problem.”

In August, a report from the Health Inspectorate of Wales found “risks to patients” and “significant concerns” in the hospital’s emergency department.

Angela Wood, director of nursing and midwifery at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said the report was taken “very seriously”.

She said: “We have appointed an improvement director who supports staff and works with staff on site to identify what the issues were, what the barriers were to providing the best possible care and then set things up to help support them .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *