Elderly Bearsden woman waits FOURTEEN hours for ambulance after suspected stroke

An elderly Bearsden woman suffering from a suspected stroke was forced to wait 14 hours for an ambulance to take her to accident and emergency.

Abbeyfield House Bearsden

The Scottish Ambulance Service has apologised and has promised “a thorough investigation”.

West of Scotland MSP Pam Gosal who lives in Milngavie said she was “appalled” at the wait and has raised the issue with Scottish Government health secretary Humza Yousaf.

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The ordeal for the woman, in her late 80s, happened on Monday, June 14 at Abbeyfield House supported accommodation.

West Scotland MSP Pam Gosal

An ambulance was called for the resident at 2.30pm, triggered initially by her GP.

But unbelievably, one did not arrive until 4.45am the following morning, despite chase-up calls after her condition deteriorated.

The resident was eventually taken to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and kept there for more than a week.

Shockingly, Gemma Connolly, manager at Abbeyfield told the Herald: "This is not the first time this has happened here.

"In fact, the following day, another resident, who was in her 90s, had to wait nine hours for an ambulance."

She added: “The concern for me is that lately, in my opinion, people in care homes and assisted living have become a non-priority, especially during Covid. I think everyone has seen that.

"I am appalled and very, very disappointed.

"Residents are losing their confidence in the ambulance service altogether. It is causing a lot of anxiety.”

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson told the Herald: “We are sincerely sorry for the delay which occurred during a period of exceptionally high demand.

"This call was initially a GP request for an ambulance but was later upgraded.

"We will be investigating this case thoroughly and will contact the patient directly to apologise and discuss our findings.”

Ms Gosal said the government’s national waiting time target says 75 per cent of ambulances should arrive within eight minutes.

She said: “I was absolutely appalled to hear about this incident. It is totally unacceptable this vulnerable resident waited 14 hours for an ambulance to arrive.

“Everyone understands the pressures our heroic NHS staff are under due to the pandemic, but this simply shouldn’t have happened. I hope that the health secretary will give a guarantee that it will never happen again.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson told the Herald: “We welcome that the ambulance service has rightly apologised for this delay and that they have confirmed they will be investigating this case further.

‘’The Service is carrying out a national review of demand and capacity which will help to ensure they are working as efficiently as possible and have resources in place to meet current and projected future demand.’’

‘’We value the tremendous job our ambulance service staff do in what can be exceptionally challenging circumstances and have invested almost £1 billion over the last four years alongside our commitment to train an additional 1,000 paramedics.”