More delays for St Albans ambulance patients

A FURTHER two incidents of St Albans residents facing an anxious, lengthy wait for an ambulance have emerged including a cancer sufferer taken to hospital more than six hours after the initial call.

Seventy-eight-year-old Molly Minton, of St Albans, who has dementia and is receiving treatment for cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), became ill following chemotherapy and waited hours for an ambulance.

And in London Colney, an 86-year-old man with diabetes found lying on the floor waited two hours for an ambulance.

The two incidents follow a recent Herts Advertiser report about an 83-year-old St Albans woman left lying on her floor with a broken leg for two hours before an ambulance arrived.

Molly Minton’s daughter, Julie Minton, of St Albans, said her mum became very dehydrated while awaiting the ambulance and medical treatment.

She explained that Molly lives in Fosse House care home in Ermine Close, St Albans.

Her doctor called for an ambulance at 7pm on Saturday, July 7, after she became very ill with fluctuating temperatures and bad diarrhoea – a possible side effect of chemotherapy.

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There were no nurses at the home to offer medical assistance so staff called for an ambulance two further times, with one finally arriving over six hours later.

Julie said it was a horrendous time for her mum as she was dehydrated by the time she reached Luton and Dunstable Hospital, adding, “she could have died. She is very frail.”

Julie has since sent a complaint to St Albans MP Anne Main and Luton hospital, as her mother faced a further two hour wait for a doctor after her arrival.

In London Colney, Linda and Richard Housden went to the aid of a neighbour’s daughter after seeing her waiting outside her father’s house “looking a bit stressed” also on July 7.

Their 86-year-old neighbour had fallen from his zimmer frame at 8pm, and an ambulance had been phoned about 10.30pm.

Linda said a further three calls were made requesting an ambulance.

She criticised the service for taking two hours to respond, asking: “What has happened to the emergency services and the quick-response paramedics?

“I can only hope I do not require an ambulance in a hurry. East of England Ambulance Service [EEAST] needs a severe shake-up and get their act together before lives are lost.”

In response, an EEAST spokeswoman said the initial call for Molly was a GP one for non-emergency transport to hospital, scheduled for within two hours.

She added: “We were unfortunately unable to make that target due to a high volume of life-threatening emergency calls but kept the patient informed of this with regular phone calls and made sure she was stable.

“The only information we were given was that she had a raised temperature.”

A 999 call was received after 11pm but, “no information was given to indicate that this was an emergency so it was coded to receive a call back within an hour.”

The spokeswoman added: “It was not until a further call at 12.51am that further information was disclosed and an ambulance was dispatched immediately, arriving at 1.20am.”

The service did not respond to questions about the 86-year-old London Colney man.