AN ELDERLY man was left waiting for an ambulance for nearly twelve hours after he had fallen in his local woods.

Jane Palombella said her husband was out walking the dogs in an area locally known as ‘Smiths Woods’ in Llangollen, when he had come across their 96-year-old neighbour unable to move on the floor.

It had appeared the pensioner had a head injury and a possible ankle injury, and he had been there for over an hour before being found.

An ambulance was called about 4.45pm on Monday June 18 but it did not arrive until 4.05am the next morning.

Jane said: “We were told not to move him because of the head injury but it came to 6 o’clock and we were still waiting, it had started to rain, and it was getting cold and he was really uncomfortable so with the help of other neighbours we finally got him home.

“The poor man couldn’t even have a cup of tea in case he needed surgery, the on-call doctor told us he couldn’t eat, or drink and he couldn’t get to the toilet, so he had to wee in a pan. It’s very undignified for him, he’s 96 why isn’t he a priority?

“I think we have a service not fit for purpose, he’s been let down and I know it’s not the ambulance services fault, but he could have been in a much worse situation and nothing was done.”

Jane, who is a mental health nurse, said she is familiar with the cuts in the NHS but was left shocked and horrified at waiting almost 12 hours for an ambulance, which should have been there within 20 minutes.

The nurse said it has knocked her confidence in the emergency services and her neighbour has been left shaken by the whole incident.

She added: “He didn’t complain, he never does, he never wants to bother anyone and when he needed help the emergency services weren’t there. What if we didn’t move him and he was left in the woods waiting?"

Jane wants to start a campaign about waiting times for emergency services because she said changes need to be made as the current service is not fit for purpose.

A spokesman for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “This case obviously does not reflect the high standards of service that we, in the Welsh Ambulance Service, strive to deliver every day, and we are in the process of arranging to contact the patient to discuss any concerns he may have about our ambulance services following his recent fall.

“We fully understand how distressing any wait for assistance can be, and we are ever mindful of the concerns of patients and families when they are looking to us for support and assistance. We deeply regret any anxiety the lengthy wait for an ambulance crew in this case may have caused.

“As an ambulance service, providing immediate emergency care for seriously ill and injured patients on-scene, as well as transporting patients from all over Wales to hospitals, we have to prioritise our skilled clinicians for those patients with life-threatening conditions, such as cardiac arrest, serious injuries and stroke.

“While callers are given ongoing phone advice and reassurance by trained staff where immediate attendance is not possible, including periodical contact with nurses and paramedics in our control room, we recognise that what patients want to see is the arrival of our ambulance crews as quickly as possible, and we constantly strive to achieve that.”