St Albans patient left waiting hours for private ambulance to take him home from hospital

PUBLISHED: 19:00 07 June 2017

William Hilton with his daughters (L-R) Linda Rose and Tina Hilton has had to wait up to three hours for a private ambulance at St Albans City hospital. Picture: Danny Loo

William Hilton with his daughters (L-R) Linda Rose and Tina Hilton has had to wait up to three hours for a private ambulance at St Albans City hospital. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

The daughter of a St Albans pensioner is at her wits’ end after he endured a three-hour wait for a private ambulance from St Albans City Hospital.

William Hilton with his daughters (L-R) Linda Rose and Tina Hilton has had to wait up to three hours for a private ambulance at St Albans City hospital. Picture: Danny LooWilliam Hilton with his daughters (L-R) Linda Rose and Tina Hilton has had to wait up to three hours for a private ambulance at St Albans City hospital. Picture: Danny Loo

William Hilton, 85, from Chalkdell Fields, first began using the Private Ambulance Service six months ago.

But his daughter Tina says booking the ambulance is a “nightmare”, and her dad is often left waiting around for hours without food or drink.

Tina explained: “A few weeks ago, dad was waiting on his own in the hospital café for two hours, with no cash for a drink.

“Dad arrived home, hungry, thirsty and fretting over his lunchtime care call.”

On one occasion, Tina went with her dad for an appointment, which only lasted 10 minutes.

They then went to the café to wait for the ambulance, but after it failed to show both the staff and Tina rang the company several times to find out what was happening.

They finally found out a single-person crew had been sent, rather than the two-person crew they had requested.

The mix-up meant they were eventually left waiting for three hours.

Tina said: “After a three hour wait, I feel incensed at the way the service has gone.”
Tina admits the crew are normally efficient and helpful, and the service taking her father to the hospital is fine.

However she is concerned about what will happen when her father has to go to an appointment on his own.

She said: “For dad’s next appointment he will be on his own, and both my sister and I are frightened he will be sitting on his own for hours in the café with no way of chasing transport.

“It is not nice thinking there must be other elderly patients who must wait for hours to get home.”

The company William uses, Private Ambulance Service, are based in Basildon, Essex, and also offer emergency ambulance services, organ transportation services, and a bodyguard service.

The number Tina uses to contact the company is given on a number of NHS websites, including East and North Herts NHS Trust, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

The Herts Ad approached Private Ambulance Service for comment, but they did not respond.

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