Great-grandmother, 93, had to wait “agonizingly” for more than nine hours for the ambulance

Beryl Murray, 93, was forced to wait on the floor “writhing in pain” for more than nine hours at her Great Barr home for an ambulance to arrive after breaking her leg

Beryl Murray, 93, had to wait nine hours for an ambulance
Beryl Murray, 93, had to wait nine hours for an ambulance

A 93-year-old great-grandmother had to wait “agonizingly” on the ground for more than nine hours for an ambulance to get to her home after breaking her leg.

Beryl Murray “writhed in pain,” said her family, who detailed watching her “change color” while awaiting medical attention at her Birmingham home.

Her right leg had given way when she switched from her walker to a stairlift on Tuesday afternoon (March 22) and she was able to reach for her rescue alert, which alerted emergency services at 5:22 p.m.

Her son Stephen, 68, and his wife Wendy, 64, also received the warning and drove 70 miles from their home in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, to help her.

But paramedics didn’t arrive until 2.33am the next morning — more than nine hours after the initial report, which was filed as a “category two” call.

She was eventually taken to Sandwell Hospital


Birmingham Mail)

The West Midlands Ambulance Service said the setback was due to “delays in hospital handovers”, but the Murray family called the wait “completely unacceptable” and said “something has to change” to prevent a tragedy.

Daughter-in-law Wendy said: “It was nine hours of writhing in pain, it was horrible to watch. My husband was very desperate, seeing his mother like this has to endure it for so long.

“She lives alone and we live in Oxford so we drove straight there when we got the call. Luckily, a neighbor was able to reach her before us, but she couldn’t move her leg at all, she was in pain.

“When we called the ambulance to find out how long it would take we were warned it could take up to six hours because they were so busy. We called back a couple of times but it was after 2:30am when the ambulance got there. which is just totally unacceptable.

“We were just trying to make her as comfortable as possible until the ambulance showed up. She complained of lower back pain, so we didn’t dare move her.

It was discovered at Sandwell hospital that Ms Murray had broken her leg


Birmingham Mail)

“Her color changed, so we were really worried. She just kept saying ‘I’m in so much pain’ and ‘My leg hurts so much’.

“The next day we found out from the hospital that she had broken her leg, which was a big shock. That made it worse considering how long she must have been in pain.

“Above all, something has to change. Otherwise people could lose their lives.”

A week after her fall, Beryl remains at Sandwell Hospital awaiting surgery on her leg.

The West Midlands Ambulance Service has apologized to Beryl and her family, citing the “intense pressure” on the NHS. They said the patient’s condition had not worsened when follow-up calls came in.

A spokeswoman for the emergency services said: “We would like to apologize to Ms Murray and her family for the time it took to reach them. The whole NHS remains under intense pressure and unfortunately delays in hospital handovers are resulting in some patients having to wait much longer for an ambulance to get to them than we would like.

“A paramedic in our control room contacted the patient to check her condition. The paramedic would have updated the call if her condition had changed.

“We continue to work with local partners to find ways to reduce delays so our crews can respond more quickly. Our staff and volunteers continue to work tirelessly to respond as quickly as possible.”

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