‘Something is seriously wrong with the NHS...’

David Nicholson waited three hours for an ambulance for his sister
David Nicholson waited three hours for an ambulance for his sister

South Central Ambulance Service holding forum event

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A MAN whose sister was waiting for three hours for an ambulance says something is ‘seriously wrong’ with healthcare services.

David Nicholson has hit out at the NHS saying more needs to be done to improve ambulance times and waiting times in casualty units.

I am not angry with Scas because they do the very best they can

David Nicholson

The 68-year-old, from Gosport, said he wants an explanation as to why South Central Ambulance Service was left in a situation where no response team could be sent to his sister.

‘I’m not angry with Scas because they do the very best they can,’ he said.

‘But something has gone wrong for them to get in the situation where after three hours they still don’t have an ambulance available.’

Mr Nicholson called the 111 service on Saturday, February 6, after his sister became ill, to get advice on what action they should take. The clinician advised an ambulance should be sent and referred the call to 999.

The incident happened at 6pm but by 9.30pm an ambulance still had not turned up. Mr Nicholson added: ‘By this time, my sister was very distressed and just wanted to go to bed. After speaking to the 999 operative and another clinician, they agreed it was the best option and cancelled the ambulance.

‘The whole system needs a look at from the triage system to the 111 service.

‘I know there would have been more serious cases but I know there were possibly other people who would have needed an ambulance because of alcohol and drugs.’

Mr Nicholson said he wants to see changes to the system but said it will probably not happen. ‘For me the longer someone is waiting for an ambulance the more urgent their need should be,’ he said. ‘That way, someone waiting for three hours will be seen as urgent no matter what their condition is.’

A Scas spokeswoman said: ‘We were called at 6.09pm on February 6 to assist a patient in Gosport.

‘We would like to apologise to the patient and their family and are sorry that on this occasion the service that we aim to deliver was not of the standard we set ourselves.

‘Scas takes our response to our patients very seriously and the patient’s call is under review as part of our complaints and concerns procedure, therefore we are unable to comment further until the investigation is resolved.’