A DISABLED woman lay helpless on a pavement in the rain for more than three hours while waiting for an ambulance, when she fell after getting out of a car.

Dawn Evans, 61, fell in Dylan Avenue, Cefn Fforest, Blackwood, on Monday afternoon - and her brother Raymond, who cares for her, is furious that she had to wait so long.

This was the first time Ms Evans had been out for two years due to her health problems, and she had to be covered with a blanket and a tarpaulin during the wait, to try to keep her dry.

Ms Evans, who has learning difficulties, heart problems, a replacement hip, and is obese, was meant to be going on her first outing in two years - to a daycare centre - but had struggled to get into the car so they were going back to her bungalow.

Mr Evans gave his sister her zimmer frame before turning to close the car door. As he turned back, he saw her start to fall after taking a couple of steps.

He tried to grab and steady her but she fell onto her front.

He said he first called an ambulance at 1.30pm and made multiple calls during the next couple of hours, before paramedics turned up at 4.45pm.

Ms Evans lay on the ground outside, covered with blankets and a tarpaulin to keep her dry.

“I called the ambulance service about seven or eight times and even called the police for help," said Mr Evans.

"The police said as soon as they finished on the phone with me, they would ring for an ambulance. Two hours after that, the paramedics turned up.”

District nurses - due to visit Ms Evans that afternoon - arrived before the paramedics and checked for vital signs.

Mr Evans said that during the wait, his sister began to panic and was very scared, refusing to allow her brother to use an umbrella to keep the rain off her as much as possible.

South Wales Argus:

(Dawn Evans. www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

When paramedics arrived, they used a special inflatable device to help lift her, before checking her over in the bungalow.

Ms Evans did not want to go to hospital and the paramedics said she showed no signs of needing to, and they asked Mr Evans to sign a form confirming this.


Mr Evans said his sister later complained of pain in the area of her replaced right hip, and has not been herself since the fall,.

Darren Panniers, operations manager in the Aneurin bevan University Health Board area for the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, said Monday was an "incredibly busy day" for the service and the unscheduled care system as a whole, meaning "we were unable to respond to some lower acuity patients as quickly as we would like.

"Unfortunately, this lady was one of those patients," he said.

"In the absence of contact details for this patient or her carer, we would encourage them to contact us directly so we can offer a more detailed explanation around the wait for help.”

Mr Evans said he is not angry at the paramedics as they told him they had to wait outside the hospital with patients, as there were no beds.

But he is fed up of the system and believes those on the frontline are bearing the brunt.