AN 85-year-old grandmother was forced to wait for 12 hours in “excruciating pain” for an ambulance to take her to hospital.
Annie Scott was given two doses of morphine by a doctor after injuring her back, leaving her bed-ridden, unable to move.
But despite the GP requesting the ambulance on Sunday morning, it did not arrive until after 10pm.
Her daughter, Sylvia Hallam, said today she would now officially complain to the Scottish Ambulance Service about the delay, which was nine hours longer than the doctor said it would be.
Ambulance chiefs said they sympathised with the pensioner’s situation, but that a busier than usual Sunday meant they had to prioritise emergency situations.
Mrs Hallam, 64, who lives next door to her mother at Pentland Park, in Loanhead, said she appreciated her mother’s case was not an out-and-out emergency, but that 12 hours was too long to leave an elderly woman in significant pain.
“The doctor had to give her two lots of morphine, and the second time he came out to see her he said she had to go to hospital,” she said.
“He said it might take a couple of hours and we agreed it wasn’t an emergency in that sense.
“I certainly didn’t want someone to be lying in the road after a car accident to come behind my mum in the queue.
“But time went on and we kept phoning. We were next in the queue, then we were second. All this time my mum was lying in bed, not able to move and in excruciating pain.”
She had injured her back while trying to lift a bird cage. Tests were still being carried out on her today.
“It made me so furious. I don’t understand how it could take so long,” she said.
“Maybe I should have been more pushy with it, but I genuinely did not think it was an emergency, but didn’t think it was going to take 12 hours either.”
She added: “When they did arrive the paramedics were fantastic. But this is a lady who hasn’t been to hospital in 60 years, she doesn’t deserve that.”
Margaret Watt, chairwoman of the Scotland Patients Association, said there were “not enough ambulances and there aren’t enough staff”.
She said: “It’s the management who have to sort this out.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “Although this was not an emergency call, we appreciate the patient was in considerable discomfort while she waited.
“However, it was a busy day for emergencies and emergency ambulances are always prioritised. We kept in touch with the patient throughout the day to apologise for the delay.”