ANOTHER day, another damning indictment of the state of the ambulance service in Gwent.

Following a week of revelations about the lengthy waits some of our most vulnerable people have endured, Adrian Higgins' today tells how his 85-year-old mother Gwynneth waited eight increasingly painful hours on the floor at her Cwmbran home for an ambulance after a fall - the fourth Gwent family to highlight waits of eight or more hours in the past week.

A critically-ill Newport fire victim, 67, also had to be taken to hospital by firefighters on Wednesday because no ambulance was available.

Now Mr Higgins wants ambulance chiefs to answer a simple question: Do they think it is good enough in 2011 for people to have to wait that long, and longer, for help?

Mr Higgins wants Assembly health minister Edwina Hart and other politicians to come and see for themselves the situation with the ambulance service, and with hospitals like Newport's Royal Gwent, where his mother waited a further four-and-a-half hours to go from A&E to the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU).

"I would like someone from the ambulance service to sit with me and tell me if they think it is good enough in this day and age for an ambulance to take eight hours. Because I don’t," said Mr Higgins, of Henllys Village, Cwmbran.

His mother Gwynneth suffered a fall at her sheltered accommodation bungalow in West Pontnewydd, Cwmbran, at December 28, and an ambulance was called at around 11.15am.

Informed of the incident, Mr Higgins went there to find his mother on the floor, in pain and unable to move.

"An ambulance had been called, but it was taking so long I was ringing 999 on the hour, every hour," he said.

'My calls were getting more desperate. I was making it clear my mother was in a bad way and her condition was worsening. Their response was that they were busy and help was on its way. The paramedic finally arrived at after 7pm and the ambulance at 7.15pm.'

At the Royal Gwent, Mr Higgins said his mother was 'parked in a corridor with a queue of other patients."

After waiting to get into the MAU Mrs Higgins spent the night there, moving onto a ward the following day.

"There were trolleys lined up next to each other in the hospital, and when I was there, there were eight or 10 ambulance personnel, crews waiting for their trolleys. It’s a mess," said Mr Higgins.

Mrs Higgins subsequently required a skin graft after a leg wound caused by her fall split open. She is currently in Morriston Hospital, Swansea.

"I know from the coverage in the Argus that some people have waited even longer than my mother. It is disgusting," said Mr Higgins, who is awaiting a response to his complaint to the ambulance service.

"I'd like to know how they prioritise cases and how they are tackling the problems, because it is very difficult to discover where the block is. "I'd like to bring the politicians here and show them what is happening. I feel like dragging Edwina Hart up there (the Royal Gwent) and standing her there. Perhaps then something would be done."

An Assembly spokesman said: "We cannot comment on individual cases but at this time of year, the ambulance service is under considerably more pressure than usual. We should recognise the hard work of their staff rather than undermine it. "The increased demand on the service will have had an effect on response times and unfortunately there will be occasions when there are delays."

An ambulance service spokesman said: "While we cannot comment on individual cases, should the patient or their family wish to contact us directly, we would be happy to discuss the case with them.

"The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust has experienced a significant increase in the number of life-threatening calls received over the past month, responding to well over 1,000 more life-threatening calls than in the same period in 2009/10.

"The combination of winter pressures including adverse weather, difficult driving conditions and a rise in flu and norovirus has resulted in unavoidable delays for which we apologise."