A PENSIONER who suffered a stroke was left waiting for an ambulance for nearly two hours.
Scared and confused, Trevor Lloyd was left sitting at the side of the road in the bitter cold waiting for the emergency services.
A community first responder from Oswestry reached his side within 25 minutes but it was an hour and 45 minutes before an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.
The 73-year-old, who lives in Fitzalan Close, Babbinswood with his wife Rowena, said: “They are trying to cut down on costs but how does it when I had a couple of vehicles come instead of just the one I needed most – an ambulance.
“I was getting really worried while I was waiting. It is not on that people have to wait so long, especially with a stroke.”
The National Stroke Strategy, published in December 2007, stated that “good stroke care” included a rapid response to a 999 call, prompt transfer to a hospital providing specialist care and immediate access to a high quality stroke unit.
According to Mr Lloyd’s friend Sarah Foulkes, of Selattyn, who rushed out to him when she heard of the incident, he was not given that care.
She said: “If the stroke had been worse he might have been left in a bad way because of how long it took to get him to hospital. It is frightening to think about.
“We need to get an ambulance station back here and that’s all there is to it.”
Mr Lloyd started to feel unwell on a visit to Morrisons in Oswestry, and on travelling by moped from Gledrid to Selattyn along the B4579 he suffered what doctors later diagnosed as a mini stroke.
“I’d had this really bad headache and then my right arm and leg started to feel funny,” he explained.
“I thought I’d be okay but then my legs went altogether and I came off my bike. I just went down.”
Mr Lloyd will have to return to hospital for check-ups to see if the stroke has caused any permanent damage, either to his brain or his muscles.
A spokesperson for the West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We would like to apologise for the length of time it took to get an ambulance to this patient.
“Although he did receive treatment from a Community First Responder and a paramedic at the scene prior to the arrival of the ambulance, the delay was unacceptable in our view.
“Sadly, this is unlikely to be the last time such circumstances occur. Currently, the Trust simply does not have the necessary resources to provide enough ambulances for Shropshire. That is why we wrote to Commissioners in Shropshire almost two years ago outlining the additional funding necessary to allow us to provide the level of service that our staff would want to provide.
“Currently they work incredibly hard but are left frustrated because there simply aren’t enough ambulances available.
“Where appropriate, we always try to get an ambulance to the patient as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, at the time of this call, all available ambulances were already dealing with 999 calls.
“The first ambulance to become clear was sent.”