Long-wait patient dies in hospital

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An investigation has been launched after an injured elderly woman was forced to wait in the cold for an ambulance for an hour and 45 minutes.

Doreen Wignall, 88, hit her head after falling over as she crossed a bridge in Ludgershall, Wiltshire, on Saturday. She died two days later in hospital.

Great Western Ambulance Service said it was “very sorry” it could not get to Ms Wignall sooner and has launched an inquiry.

The service received a 999 call at 10.36am, and a rapid-response paramedic arrived at the scene at 12pm, a spokesman said.

It took another 21 minutes for an ambulance to arrive which took Ms Wignall to Salisbury District Hospital, arriving at 1.19pm.

Wiltshire Councillor for Ludgershall and Perham Down, Chris Williams, said the wait was unacceptable.

He was brough in by Ms Wignall’s son-in-law, Tony Pickernell.

“She was approaching on the railway bridge and she slipped on the ice and hit the back of her head,” Mr Williams said.

“The neighbours were excellent – they came out and they helped and apparently someone had a duvet or blanket and that was brought out and they were with her the whole time, and immediately somebody dialled 999.

“After some time the ambulance car turned up. He, apparently, I’ve been told, covered her with a thermal blanket, because of obviously the cold, it was a cold morning, but after a short period of time he then drove off and then they waited for the ambulance to turn up. She was then taken to hospital, where she passed away on Monday, very unfortunately.

“All I can say is that it is not up to what I would expect for somebody who has had an accident in the street.”

In a statement, Great Western Ambulance Service said: “We are saddened to hear of the death of this patient and offer our sincere condolences to the family.

“We are very sorry that we could not get to this patient sooner.” The service is conducting an internal investigation.