Apology after ambulance fails to pick up ill Port Tennant man at surgery
THE ambulance service has apologised after a vehicle did not show up to collect a man left waiting hours in his GP's surgery.
Lee Allen, 21, of Ysgol Street, Port Tennant, visited his doctor suffering chest pains. He was diagnosed with shingles and given a prescription. But Mr Allen, who is on dialysis, wanted it investigated further.
The GP called an ambulance, but Mr Allen's mum, Dawn, said he was still waiting after the surgery closed at 6.15pm.
His mum said: "No one was able to take him to the hospital that day (Monday). I couldn't go because I had physiotherapy and my daughter, who had the car, was in work. The GP called an ambulance, but one never came and he was left locked in the surgery with the cleaner.
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"My daughter had to leave work to go and get him. She took him to Singleton Hospital. Then, at 1.15am that morning, I could hear movement. I went downstairs and he was on the sofa. They had sent him home in an ambulance and said there was nothing wrong with him.
"But he had terrible chest pains, I phoned for an ambulance again and a paramedic said to take him in. He's now in Morriston Hospital on the renal ward."
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: "Following a non-urgent request at 14.47 to transport this patient to hospital, an estimated time for response within 1 hour was agreed upon with the GP. However, during the hours subsequent to this call, the Welsh Ambulance Service was experiencing handover delays at hospitals in the region and an increase in calls which means crews were attending to emergency calls. We are working with our health board partners to address these issues.
"Notwithstanding this, we deeply regret that we were unable to attend to this patient sooner and we would encourage him or the family to contact us if they wish to discuss the case further."
An ABM Health Board spokeswoman said the patient was not seriously ill at the surgery.
She added: "At the end of the day the GP was called to an emergency house call less than a minute away. As the patient did not need medical supervision the receptionist stayed with him out of courtesy so he could remain in the warmth of the surgery rather than outside.
"On arrival at Singleton Hospital various tests including X-rays were carried out to rule out any other illness. Based on the results there was no medical reason to admit the patient and he was discharged with appropriate medication and advised to attend clinic the next day. With shingles it is normal to have pain in the area where the shingles are. In some cases it doesn't improve with medication and it is necessary to seek further medical help."