St Albans 96-year-old misses essential hospital appointment because of ambulance delays

PUBLISHED: 12:35 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:35 28 September 2018

East of England Ambulance Service

East of England Ambulance Service


An elderly woman missed an essential hospital appointment after her ambulance was two hours late.

A 96-year-old St Albans woman, who would prefer not to be named, was booked in to see a cardiologist because her pacemaker was registering activity unusually high - up to 185 beats per minute.

Doctors want to start investigations as soon as possible after she experienced an emergency heart scare in February.

She booked transport from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) for the appointment at 2pm, but it arrived nearly two hours late, at 3.50pm.

Now, the pensioner must wait however long it takes to get another appointment, all the while worried about her racing heart.

Her daughter Dawn, who is only comfortable using her first name, said: “They were full of ‘sorry, sorry’, but that doesn’t change anything.

“One of the consultants who turned up said that in the future we should ask for a morning appointment, which is clearly twaddle because you get an appointment on the availability of the consultant.

“She also said we should give an appointment time half an hour before. She wanted me to lie and I am not in the habit of lying.”

Dawn had already complained to EEAS after her mother had to wait more than an hour for the ambulance during her emergency in February.

The 67-year-old added: “It’s clearly unacceptable. My mother needs ambulance transport, but I can’t ask EEAS because they are quite clearly wholly unreliable.

“They have no sense of patient care and quite clearly they are not fit to transport excrement, let alone the elderly.”

For the next appointment Dawn will book a private ambulance: “I have to afford it. I am a pensioner, my mother is a pensioner. It is disgusting.”

In May this year an investigation concluded although no-one had died as a direct result of EEAS NHS Trust delays last winter, three people had been severely harmed.

The trust has been facing a number of challenges, including increased demand and financial pressures.

EEAS did not respond to requests for comment.

More news stories


A London Colney primary school went the extra mile for its nativity play by including a real donkey and baby.


A solicitor is raising awareness of mental well-being in her workplace by utilising the specialist training she has attended.


Legendary Hertfordshire band The Zombies will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year. Alan Davies spoke with the group’s lead singer Colin Blunstone.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a burglary in St Albans.


I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards