"999 Ambulance took over an hour"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance

(as a relative),

I was pleased with the way in which my wife was treated by the paramedics / ambulance crew when they finally arrived, but am not happy about the length of time it took.

I called 999 as my wife was in a lot of pain in her abdomen. Half an hour later a nurse from the 999 service called and said they had dispatched an ambulance that arriver 70 minutes after my initial call.

The 999 service is for when there is an emergency, when a person who is suffering needs urgent care so I did not expect to be waiting over an hour for the ambulance to arrive. I asked the ambulance crew about the process so that I could have a better understanding, they showed me their papers from which it was clear they had received a call at an hour later than the time I had phoned the 99 service.

Why did it take so long for the call to be put through to the ambulance service?

More about:
Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Hi Eaten75

Thank you for taking the time to provide our service with feedback. I hope your wife is feeling better now.

I am unable to give you an exact reason for the length of time the ambulance took to arrive with you and your wife, as I am unable to identify the time and location of the call from the details written here. There are a number of possible options as to why this has happened. One possible explanation may be that our service has been experiencing unprecedented demand in recent months and this, at times, can cause a delay in ambulance arrival. However, please be assured that we will always aim to be with you as soon as we are able to be.

If you would like for us to look into the specific events concerning the ambulance attendance for your wife, we would be very happy to look into what happened but we will need some detailed information to enable us to do this. May I ask you to contact our Patient Experience Team on either swast.patientexperience@nhs.net or 01392 261 585 and a member of the team will take you through the next steps of the process.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to share your story.


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful