A 93-year-old pensioner was left lying on the floor ‘screaming in pain’ while waiting for an ambulance for 25 hours after a fall.
Elizabeth Davies was finally taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor but then had to endure another 12-hour wait to be admitted to a ward.
Her heartbreaking ordeal came ahead of the biggest 999 walkout since the 1980s tomorrow, which will see thousands more NHS staff strike just a day after around 10,000 nurses took to picket lines in a dispute over pay.
Health minister Will Quince urged Britons not to ring 999 unless they are sure their condition is ‘life-threatening’. He said people should avoid doing anything ‘risky’.
Soldiers are being given last-minute training to fill in for striking ambulance drivers tomorrow, while a senior officer has admitted there will be ‘nerves’ among the troops.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay met ambulance unions today in a last ditch effort to avoid further chaos but failed, after discussions around pay were off the table.
He is facing calls to resign unless he gets a grip on the crisis.
After the meeting, he tweeted: ‘I hugely value the work of our NHS staff [and] it’s disappointing some union members are going ahead with further strike action – my door remains open to further talks.
‘Unions have called for industrial action to cause maximum disruption & inevitably this will have an impact.
‘My priority remains patient safety. We have contingency plans in place & I have met with ambulance union reps today urging them to honour their commitment to provide responses to life-threatening emergency calls.’
Read More: How many more like her will suffer? Pensioner, 93, is left lying on the floor for 25 HOURS with ‘broken hip’