A FLINTSHIRE man has spoken of his frustration after his wife - who lives with dementia - had to wait over 15 hours for an ambulance to arrive after she fell down the stairs.

Arthur Wilkins' wife Angela, who is 83, fell down 22 steps at their home in Holywell on the morning of Friday, February 25.

He says he 'heard her cry' as she laid at the bottom of the stairs and she was 'yelling out in pain'.

Mrs Wilkins had a nasty gash on her arm and was in 'terrible pain' with her back.

Mr Wilkins said he managed to carry his wife up the stairs and place her on her bed. He then called a doctor who suggested he should ring 999 and ask for an ambulance.

According to Mr Wilkins, the doctor told him that the service was busy and that he 'might have to wait an hour-and-a-half' for an ambulance to arrive.

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A call for an ambulance was made at 11.30am and Mr Wilkins was again told that the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS) could not give him a certain time of arrival.

He added: "They phoned several times in the day to ask her condition and I kept telling them all the time she was in pain. I always asked when the ambulance would arrive and the answer was we don’t know we are busy.

"I had repeated to them that she has dementia and also hard of hearing."

Mr Wilkins then went to bed at midnight on February 25. At 1.55am in the morning of February 26, his phone rang.

He said: "I was half asleep and one of the questions asked was had my wife got a smaller leg than the other, I said I had no idea."

At 3am on that Saturday morning the front doorbell rang and it was the ambulance - over 15 hours after Mr Wilkins had made the initial call.

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He said: "I have to say what happened to me is a warning to us all plus the waiting times in A&E which can be four hours. Surely this can’t be happening in Wales in 2022, we are going backwards and the service is more like a third world one.

"Someone has to get to grips with these ongoing issues we cant keep saying 'we are busy'. I sincerely hope nobody else has to go through the stress of waiting over 15 hours, whilst not being told when an ambulance would arrive.

"My wife came home on Saturday afternoon (February 26), she is still in a lot of pain, but I have no knowledge of what they did. Surely, we should not have to accept this in 2022."

Liz Wedley, the Welsh Ambulance Service's Head of Service in North Wales, said: "We were deeply sorry to hear about Mrs Wilkins’ experience, which no doubt would have been a distressing wait for help for her and her husband.

“We will always respond to the sickest patients first, but patients whose condition is not life-threatening may wait longer for help – in times of extreme demand, that could potentially be many hours.

Read more: Elderly woman from Wrexham waits more than 17 hours for ambulance

“On 25-26 February, demand on our service was greater than predicted and we also spent almost 1,500 hours at hospitals across Wales waiting to hand patients over to our Local Health Board colleagues, which meant the ambulance staff waiting at hospital couldn’t be sent to other patients in the community.

“We would like to apologise to Mr and Mrs Wilkins for the poor experience and send her our very best wishes.

"We would welcome contact should the family wish to explore our response further.”