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Pensioner forced to wait 6 HOURS in agony for an ambulance after leg break

Mirror logo Mirror 20/05/2017 Stephen White

© Getty A pensioner was forced to wait almost six hours in agony for an ambulance after breaking her leg, an inquest has heard. 

Daphne Williams was pegging out washing in the yard of her home when she slipped and fell – fracturing her left femur.

But an ambulance did not turn up until later that night as she lay on the concrete surface and a planned operation was delayed.

According to a statement from Mrs Williams’ daughter Jane Davis, an ambulance was called for and a number of family members arrived at the scene in Hanmer, Denbighshire, to wait with Daphne, who remained on the concrete floor of her yard.

However after making a call at about 4.20pm, it was not until 9.33pm that a paramedic arrived on the scene to assess Mrs Williams’ injury and asked for an ambulance, which arrived after 10pm to take her to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Credits: Google Street View © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Google Street View The inquest heard an operation on the fractured femur was initially set to take place the following day but was delayed in order to properly medicate Mrs Williams and ‘optimise’ the conditions of the procedure.

Following the operation, Wrexham Maelor consultant physician Dr Sara Gerrie told the hearing Mrs Williams became unwell and developed a ‘pseudo obstruction’ – which affected her bowel and presented a risk of chest infection – following which she became acutely unwell.

Dr Gerrie told the inquest in Wrexham: “It had been a very difficult balance when she was well, but then having a significant injury – that can be enough to tip the balance.

“It is not the level of service we would like to provide and if her family were here, I’d like to apologise to them.”

The inquest also heard from Gill Plemming of the Welsh Ambulance Service, who explained the initial call reporting Mrs Williams’ injury was classified as a ‘green two’ – which means not life threatening – and the service had to respond to higher priority calls before hers.

She also said the service had received a number of calls from family members in the time between the initial call and the ambulance deployment, which were responded to with welfare calls to keep a check on Mrs Williams’ condition.

She said: “Unfortunately if we have a red or amber one or two call, they will always be diverted to the higher priority.

“There were other incidents on the stack which were a higher priority.

“It is not the quality of service we would like to give and if Mrs Williams’ family were here I would like to pass on my apologies.”

The case was escalated to an amber two priority at 8.37pm after further contact with those at the scene.

North East Wales and Central coroner John Gittins said the death of retired housekeeper Daphne, 78, was accidental.

The coroner concluded that the cause of her death was caused by renal and cardio failure with bronchio-pneumonia as a result of the fracture caused by her fall. There were also contributory effects of a number of pre-existing medical conditions.

He added: “Other families in these crises must not be allowed to suffer as this family did.

“I can only hope that some answers will come to light to alleviate some of the difficulties that people in this area experience at the moment.”

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