An unprecedented NHS emergency care crisis has been blamed for the death of a woman after she was forced to wait 16 hours for an ambulance.
Matthew Simpson in Hull believes ‘100 per cent’ that his ‘best friend and soul mate’ would still be alive if she had received care earlier. He told of his ‘anger’ at his wife Teresa’s death.
Meanwhile, a father in Stockport has urged Britons to ‘get a taxi’ to hospital rather than relying on paramedic crews after medics told him he ‘wouldn’t be alive’ if he had waited any longer for them to arrive.
It comes amid record A&E pressures, with patients reporting 26-hour waits for 999 crews and one in five waiting more than an hour outside hospital in ambulances.
The situation has led London Ambulance Service to instruct paramedics to hand over patients to hospitals within 45 minutes so they can respond to more calls. But doctors warned the plan is ‘unsafe’.
Health chiefs warned the current NHS crisis will rumble on until Easter and strikes among nurses and ambulance staff across four days this month are the ‘last thing’ the NHS needs.
Mr Simpson, 47, who was set to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, 54, later this year, has told of how she died following a 16-hour wait for an ambulance.
Mrs Simpson, who had diabetes and a muscle-wasting disease, fell at home on November 29.
Her husband, who was also her full-time carer, pulled an emergency lifeline cord in their home — which calls 999 — when she became confused and spoke to an ambulance team.
The couple were told three hours later that one could not be sent for another two hours.
They fell asleep around 3am and Mr Simpson awoke to find his wife ‘lifeless’ in her wheelchair.
He called 999 again while trying to resuscitate her and it was only then that paramedics turned up — 16 hours and 45 minutes after his first call.