Pensioner in agony during 12 hour ambulance wait

Annie Scott is now recovering in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

A FRAIL grandmother was left in “excruciating pain” after an ambulance took 12 hours to reach her home.

Annie Scott, 85, injured her back while trying to lift a bird cage, leaving her bedridden and unable to move at her Edinburgh home.

Her pain was so severe she was given two doses of morphine by a doctor, who then called for an ambulance.

But despite the request being put in on Sunday morning medics did not arrive until after 10pm.

She is now recovering in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Daughter Sylvia Hallam,64, now plans on putting in a formal complaint to the Scottish Ambulance service.

She claims the delay was nine hours longer than the doctor said it would be.

Ambulance bosses said they sympathised with the family’s plight but a busier than usual Sunday meant they had to prioritise emergency calls.

Mrs Hallam, a former carer, hit back at the Service, saying that while she understood her mother’s case was not an emergency, 12 hours was too long to leave an elderly woman in pain.

She added that emergency crews had told her that many of the cases they had been dealing with were not emergencies.


She said: “The doctor had to give her two lots of morphine, and the second time he came out to see her he said she had to go to hospital.

“He said it might take a couple of hours and we agreed it wasn’t an emergency in that sense.

“I certainly didn’t want someone to be lying in the road after a car accident to come behind my mum in the queue.

Sylvia says her mother was attempting to move a bird cage when she was hurt

“But time went on and we kept phoning. We were next in the queue, then we were second. All this time my mum was lying in bed, not able to move and in excruciating pain.

“It made me so furious I couldn’t understand how it could take so long.

“Maybe I should have been more pushy with it, but I genuinely did not think it was an emergency, but I didn’t think it was going to take 12 hours either.”

She added: I was told on the side that the crew had been called to emergencies and when they got there was no emergency and they would have got to us sooner.”

However she praised the actions of the crew who eventually turned up at her house in the Loanhead area of the city.

She: “I can’t praise the crews highly enough.

“When they did arrive the paramedics were fantastic. They gave her morphine so it didn’t hurt when she was moved and they must have spend more than an hour with her.

“But this is a lady who hasn’t been to hospital in 60 years, she doesn’t deserve that.”

Margaret Watt, of the Scotland Patient Association, said there were “not enough ambulances and not enough staff”.

She said: “It’s the management who have to sort this out.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “Although this was not an emergency call, we appreciate the patient was in considerable discomfort while she waited.

“However it was a busy day for emergencies and emergency ambulances are always prioritised. We kept in tough with the patient throughout the day to apologise for the delay.”


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