THE family of an elderly woman who suffered a fall at 8pm on Thursday had to wait more than 17 hours for an ambulance.

The 82-year-old fell while bending down to her fire and suffered a suspected fractured hip.

Her family called for an ambulance to her home in the Hightown area of Wrexham but - more than 16 hours later - and were still waiting for an ambulance to attend the address more than 16 hours later.

Frustratingly, the lady lives just over a mile away from Wrexham Maelor Hospital - but the family were told not to move her.

Instead, they made her as comfortable as possible on the sofa downstairs, given her painkillers, and stayed with her all night and the following.

The woman's daughter Fiona Cargius said in a tweet: "My 82-year-old old mum fell last night. In absolute agony, can't move, suspected broken hip. We called for an ambulance 8pm last night. Still waiting at 8am. Something is seriously wrong with the NHS. How can this be OK?"

Her son-in-law Franco has stayed with her all night, and hoped every phone call would be the one that told him the ambulance is on its way.

He spoke to the Leader while still waiting for an ambulance  - 16 hours after making the call.

He said: "She fell over yesterday, she must have lost her balance and fell down on her left side. Since then she can't move her leg or put any weight on it. It's a suspected fracture. We've just made her as comfortable as possible, given her painkillers and seen to her. We've spoken to a paramedic on the phone, and everyone is saying the right thing except for when an ambulance would arrive.

"Fair dos they have called every two or three hours to check on her. But after 15 hours I asked them to stop as every time the phone rings you expect it to be to tell us the ambulance is on the way."

He added: "When you press them for a time, they just say they are doing the best they can. They told us that there are other people ahead of my mother in law, god knows what those people are going through. And I appreciate that, we are caught being in this stressful situation where you want someone to be treated and seen to while at the same time you are staring at a leve of service that nobody would say is acceptable."

The Welsh Ambulance responded to Fiona's tweets about the ordeal while the family were still waiting, saying that "we're really sorry to hear about your mother's experience".

It added: "This is certainly not the service we want to provide. Please DM us if you'd like to raise this with the Trust's concerns team. Sending your mother our thoughts and best wishes."

Fiona told the Leader an ambulance arrived at 1.45pm and her mum has been taken to the Maelor.

Stephen Sheldon, service manager for the Welsh Ambulance Service in North Wales, said the North Wales region has been experiencing high demand. 

He said: "We are very sorry to hear that this patient experienced a much longer than expected wait for an ambulance after their fall.

“Last night, this morning and into the afternoon we are continuing to experience high demand for our services in North East Wales.

“This, combined with many of our emergency resources waiting to handover patients at general hospitals across the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area led to this regrettable delay.

“Welfare checks by our clinicians were performed on the patient and we have now arrived on scene to treat them.

“We would welcome direct contact from the family should they wish to discuss our response in more detail and wish the patient a full and speedy recovery from their ordeal.”


  • An ambulance arrived on Friday afternoon, more than 17 hours after the call.
  • Fiona's mother was taken to the Maelor where she had to wait outside in an ambulance until 7.30pm - almost 24 hours after the initial call.
  • At 8.45pm, although inside the hospital the patient had not been seen by a doctor.
  • Finally, an x-ray has confirmed the 82-year-old woman had a broken hip.