A NEWPORT man has called for paramedics in Gwent to be given more support after his wife had to wait for ten hours for an ambulance following a fall.

Denise Davies fell while heading towards the toilet at her home at Caerleon Lodge Nursing Home during the afternoon on Tuesday, August 17.

It was thought that she may have broken her hip, so nurses at the home were told to not move her while they called 999 and waited for an ambulance.

Husband Malcolm said: “I can’t fault the staff at the home, they were fantastic trying to keep her warm and safe while they waited, and they did everything they could.

“But no-one deserves to wait that long for an ambulance – especially when they suspected a break.

“My wife was in so much pain, led there on the floor for ten hours”.

Mrs Davies was eventually taken to hospital ten and a half hours later, at 1.30am on Wednesday.

Fortunately, she hadn't broken anything, and Mrs Davies has since been able to return to the home. Mrs Davies has been at the home since having a stroke around a year ago which had left her partially paralysed, having to get around using a zimmer frame and with help following successful physiotherapy which has allowed her to regain this part of her movement.

Mr Davies made it clear that he did not blame the paramedics, or the hospital staff themselves – but said the circumstances around the funding and space available for patients to be treated once they have been taken to hospital were far from ideal.

“When I was younger, there were many more hospitals around, but most have closed," he said. "Some of the wards are also closed in hospitals from what I can gather.

“There needs to be more input into the hospitals – more staff, more funding and more space – to allow for the paramedics to be able to do their job and not have to make patient wait for hours to be seen.”

The pressures the Welsh Ambulance Service has been under in recent weeks has been well-documented – with one paramedic recently branding the long waits outside The Grange University Hospital as ‘soul destroying’.

The health board has said it has seen demand across all of its services increase to “unprecedented levels,” meaning patients were waiting longer to be transferred into the emergency department.


“It’s soul destroying," said the ambulance worker, who asked to remain anonymous. "We don’t want people to be held in ambulances for hours. It does them no good.

“Since the Grange has opened, [the health board] has made promise after promise to get it fixed.

“Instead of having two hospitals and spreading the workload out, everything is now going in to one. In the past, if the Gwent got busy, you could go to Nevill Hall and wait for the backlog to go down. There is now no way of diverting that backlog.”

A health board spokesperson recently said: “Over recent weeks, we’ve seen demand across all of our services increase to unprecedented levels, far beyond the demand experienced prior to the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, this has meant that patients are waiting longer to be transferred into the emergency department than we would want, as we maintain strict Covid-19 infection control measures whilst prioritising the most acutely unwell patients.”

Sonia Thompson, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s assistant director of operations (Emergency Medical Service), said: “The Welsh Ambulance Service has been under significant and well-documented pressures in recent weeks, and as a result, some patients have regrettably had to wait for a longer time than we would like to get help.

“We would like to extend our apology to Mrs Davies as well as to all of those patients who have had a poor experience, and we would like to send her our very best wishes.

“We encourage Mrs Davies and her family to get in touch with directly so that we can look into what happened further.”