"Ambulance arrival time"

About: Morriston Hospital / Accident and emergency Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

(as a carer),

I called ambulance in the early hours of the morning telling them my husband was in severe pain and has a possible perforated ulcer. My husband has long history of stomach issues including a previous perforation so he knew what it was. I told 999 operator this. I had call back around forty minutes later from someone asking the same questions and they said "I will escalate this to emergency now" when I said I would drive my husband they told me not to as ambulances were busy but would be there asap. Over two hours after my first call, I called 999 again as they still hadn't shown up got told they would need to log new call. Started answering questions when about a minute or two later ambulance arrived.

My husband was in resus section of a&e by the time I arrived. He had a perforation which caused hole in stomach. They operated but my husband was in ITU for 5 days nearly died of sepsis as his heart valve wasn't pumping.

He has since suffered flashbacks of hallucinations he had whilst there and hair loss. 2 hours 10 mins is not acceptable for a life threatening condition like this. I think the call must have been coded wrong. Really angry.

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Response from Head of Patient Experience, Welsh Ambulance Service

I am so sorry that the experience you and your husband received has caused you such upset. I accept that two hours is a long time to wait when you are in pain. Our response model enables us to send a response appropriate to a callers needs, an emergency is prioritised as a life-threatening emergency (choking, unconscious, not breathing, bleeding to death, these are 8 minute responses). Other calls receive a response that is based on their clinical need. There is a lot of work being done to address and improve the length of wait some patients experience and these developments will mean that there will be resources available to respond to patients who need them. I would be happy to discuss further with you if you feel this would be helpful. If you would like to contact me at peci.team@wales.nhs.uk 01792 311773.

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