A WOMAN with suspected gallstones experienced an excruciating wait for an ambulance, according to her partner.
Nigel Davies, 37, of Connor Crescent, Wrexham, called for an ambulance when Donna Parkinson, 34, started experiencing severe stomach pains on Monday night.
But he said Miss Parkinson was left waiting for far too long for medical help to arrive.
The Welsh Ambulance Service said a community first responder arrived at the property 23 minutes after Mr Davies’ original call and an ambulance arrived 41 minutes after the call was lodged.
Mr Davies said: “I called 999 because she was bent over in agony. They said an ambulance would be en route so it was a case of waiting, but nothing happened.
“I went outside to see if I could see anything. After what felt like a lifetime I called again and was told an ambulance would be there in a minute.
“A Ford Focus arrived with two rapid response volunteers who assessed her, but could only do so much as trained first aiders.
“When an ambulance finally arrived it was from Colwyn Bay. I later posted about it on Facebook and a friend commented they had seen eight ambulances parked outside the Maelor at 8pm.”
When his partner got to Wrexham Maelor Hospital, she faced another wait.
Mr Davies said: “A friend went with her and they were stuck in the ambulance until 1am.
“We have four children aged between two and 12, one of whom is diabetic, so I had to stay at home with them. They were in tears not knowing what was going on.
“It’s not the fault of the NHS, it’s just the way things are at the moment, but targets are being missed. In another situation I could have lost my partner and it will be affecting other people too.”
Gordon Roberts, the trust’s head of service for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), said: “Shortly after 9.30pm on Monday we received a call to a medical emergency at an address on Connor Crescent in Wrexham.
“A community first responder and the nearest available emergency ambulance were dispatched immediately and while help was en route, the patient was assessed over the telephone by a doctor in our clinical contact centre, who offered additional advice and support.
“At the time of this call, the service was dealing with significant patient handover delays at hospitals across the region, which reduced the availability of our crews and vehicles and impacted on our ability to respond to calls in a timely manner.
“The trust and the local health board continue to work together to deal with the handover challenges. Despite these pressures, we are concerned there was a delay in attending this call and would encourage the patient to contact us directly should she wish to do so.”
A BCUHB spokesman said: “Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s emergency department was extremely busy that evening due to a high number of patient attendances and admissions.
“We apologise to any patients who experienced delays and are also very sorry Mr Davies felt let down by the standard of care provided to his partner.
“Our staff are working extremely hard to deliver the most appropriate care to patients presenting at the emergency department. During periods of high demand, it can be difficult in ensuring that patients move through the hospital system in a timely manner.”