A DISABLED hospital patient has hit out following a gruelling seven-hour round trip to hospital which nearly led to a diabetic attack.
Martin Crumpton, of Llangollen, has written to Welsh Government health minister Mark Drakeford after his ordeal at an outpatients’ appointment at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
He said the experience had caused his delicate health to deteriorate further and left him “in dread” of his next appointment later this month.
Mr Crumpton’s appointment ended at 11.20am but he did not get home to Llangollen until 3.30pm, by which time he was close to suffering a diabetic hypoglycemic attack.
Welsh Ambulance Service managers are looking into the incident.
As a category C2 patient needing two people to lift him and his wheelchair in and out of an ambulance, Mr Crumpton was collected by a two-man ambulance crew from his home at 9.45am on January 6 to be taken to his 10.30am appointment at the Maelor, where he had treatment to diabetic foot ulcers.
He said: “I arrived there on time and was seen within 15 minutes. The treatment ended at 11.20am and hospital transport was notified I was ready to go home immediately.
“The podiatrist saw I was still waiting and called them again at noon. Their response was an apologetic one-hour delay, with my pick-up at 2pm.
“At 2.10pm, seeing I was still there, they called again. I was then, finally, picked up at 2.40pm by a crew who said they'd only just been assigned.
“I finally arrived home at 3.30pm.”
He added the round trip took six hours and 45 minutes for an out-patients’ appointment lasting 40 minutes.
“The whole time I was hunched-up in my wheelchair with pressure on my feet, specifically the thing I should not be doing”, he said.
“During my extended wait, the small amount of food all sensible diabetics carry was not adequate and I was heading for a hypoglycemic attack.
“Once home, I was fed urgently, given a morphine compound and painkillers but the pain continued throughout the night, keeping me awake for four hours.
“I have another appointment soon and I quite dread another long wait, after a gruelling ordeal.”
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Our Patient Care Service (PCS) makes more than one million journeys every year, providing non-emergency transport to routine hospital appointments in England and Wales for 4,000 patients a day.
“In 2013, we replaced 14 of our Patient Care Service vehicles in North Wales and anticipate the delivery of further vehicles in the coming weeks. We are also in the process of recruiting more than a dozen new Patient Care Service staff in North Wales.
“We are disappointed to hear of the patient’s concern on this occasion and have contacted them directly to ensure their future transport arrangements run as smoothly as possible.
“We will respond directly to the patient once we have looked into the matter in more detail.”