Grantham man told to wait eight hours for ambulance after suffering with breathing difficulties
A Grantham man was told to wait at least eight hours for an ambulance after he was suffering with breathing problems.
Peter Clawson, 82, was suffering with serious breathing problems on Tuesday, July 19, and as a result, his wife called for an ambulance at 11.30pm.
When his wife called, Peter was told he would have to wait at least eight hours for an ambulance to collect him.
Peter said: "I just couldn’t get my breath at all and I said to my wife you have to ring for an ambulance.
"I could hardly speak.
"I waited for several hours and it just wasn't getting any better and it was upsetting my mind, so it was making it worse."
He later rang up to service and asked to cancel the scheduled ambulance as it was getting too long to wait.
Peter suffers with heart failure, type 2 diabetes and cancer problems.
The excessive heat temperatures on Tuesday is a reason why his breathing became worse.
Peter asked for advice whilst he waited for the ambulance but the person on the phone stated they were not medically trained to help.
He added: "I believe the ambulance service is broken, like so many other things at the moment.
"With the 40 degree temperatures they should have been more prepared."
The next evening (Wednesday, July 20) when the temperature fell, Peter's breathing started to improve, but he is still suffering.
Sue Cousland, divisional director for Lincolnshire at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Our 999 control rooms assess every call to ensure people experiencing life-threatening emergencies, such as cardiac arrest, are seen first.
"We continue to experience immense pressure on our ambulance service and our staff are working phenomenally hard to get to the sickest and most severely injured patients.
"This means that patients experiencing less serious illnesses or injuries may experience an extended wait for an ambulance, so if you are asked by our 999-control room if you can make your own way to hospital, please do so – either via taxi or asking a friend or family member to drive you.
"This allows us to continue to prioritise patients with the greatest clinical need, who require our ambulances with highly-skilled clinicians and life-saving equipment on board to provide ongoing treatment on the way to hospital."
If you need an ambulance in an emergency you should call 999, or you can contact NHS 111 when you are in need of urgent healthcare that isn't a life-threatening situation.