“IF WE haven’t got a crisis, then what have we got?”

That's the question a husband wants Wales' health minister Eluned Morgan to answer after his wife was left waiting 10 hours for an ambulance.

Brian Kenwrick called 999 at around 9.45am on Tuesday, January 3, after his wife Catherine, 75, suffered a fall at their St Julians home after suffering what turned out to be a stroke.

“Her legs just went from under her,” said Mr Kenwrick, 80. “I couldn’t lift her up. I could’ve done more damage.

“They said it would be three hours before they would arrive. I did inform them that I’m disabled - how am I going to get my wife into the car and get her to the hospital?

“She was out on the landing all day – it’s ridiculous.

“They had to send an ambulance from Cardiff for her."

Although he is dismayed by how long they had to wait, Mr Kenwrick praised the ambulance staff who eventually arrived, saying: "They were brilliant.”

Mrs Kenwrick was taken to Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital, but due to visitor restrictions, her husband could not stay with her and could only visit for an hour at a time.

“[The ambulance staff] took her in and kept her on a trolley in the warm,” said Mr Kenwrick. “The ambulance service stayed with her.

“I’d have rather been sat alongside her at night so she knew I was there.”

Mr Kenwrick said his wife was still on the trolley when he visited again at around 11am on Wednesday.

“When the health minister says we’ve got no crisis, then what have we got? My wife was laying at the top of the stairs for hours. I rang them four times,” he said.

“It annoys me. We’re supposed to have a health service.

“But I don’t blame them, the staff and the paramedics were brilliant. I blame the Welsh Government.”

Mr Kenwrick said they later were told his wife had fell after suffering a stroke.

The Argus approached the Welsh Government for comment, and asked ‘Is the NHS in Wales in crisis?’.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are sorry that the service delivered fell below expected standards on this occasion. The NHS and Welsh Ambulance Service is facing unprecedented demand this winter.

“A national improvement plan is in place to increase ambulance staff numbers improve the efficiency with which staff and resources are used, improve response times and reduce ambulance patient handover delays, freeing up more time for staff to respond to calls.”

Darren Panniers, head of service in the South East for the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “We are very sorry to hear about Mrs Kenwrick’s experience, and we understand that it will have been an incredibly distressing time for her and her husband as they waited for our help to arrive.

“Sadly, Mrs Kenwrick experience is not unique, as patients across Wales and the UK, face longer waits for an ambulance response due to wider system pressures across health and social care.

“We are currently experiencing scenarios, where in excess of 30 per cent of our ambulance clinicians are waiting outside hospitals to hand over the care of patients.

“This is not the level of service we want to provide patients across Wales and as an organisation we are working hard to improve our response as a matter of urgency.”

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “We’re very sorry for Mrs Kenwrick’s experience and her long wait – this is certainly not the standard of service we aim to provide.

“We recognise the value of allowing patients to have visitors and will encourage and accommodate this wherever possible. However, the level of respiratory infections spreading in our community means that we have had to limit visiting hours in our hospitals in order to protect vulnerable patients.

 “We would like to thank our residents for their patience at this time and our amazing staff, who continue to work incredibly hard to keep our services running and to care for patients as quickly as possible.”