She then had to wait

I was saddened to read in the Daily Telegraph (August 22) of the death of Martina Simmons of a brain haemorrhage at Weston General Hospital on June 7 and I note the 'completely unacceptable' delay in the arrival of the ambulance which took over two hours.

I was saddened to read in the Daily Telegraph (August 22) of the death of Martina Simmons of a brain haemorrhage at Weston General Hospital on June 7 and I note the 'completely unacceptable' delay in the arrival of the ambulance which took over two hours. On June 9 my wife suffered an aortic dissection but in her case the ambulance arrived shortly after the paramedic and she was taken to Weston General in good time. However she then had to wait well over an hour to be seen by the A&E medical staff. Throughout this period the ambulance crew were required to remain with her and, therefore, unavailable for redeployment. During the evening I saw at least two other crews who had to wait similar periods of time. Happily in my wife's case, she was admitted to the Emergency Admissions Unit for overnight observation and an alert doctor identified her condition. An immediate seven hour emergency operation at the BRI saved her life. My wife's example shows that there is so much to admire about the NHS and, therefore, it seems churlish to draw attention to what appears to be a major shortcoming. But there must be something systemically wrong whereby there are potentially such lengthy in-built delays in the delivery and treatment of patients requiring emergency medical attention. I have no interest in apportioning blame nor receiving placatory explanations but rather I wish to be assured that both A&E and the ambulance service are correctly resourced and, of equal importance, these scarce resources are used to best effect. Based on the anecdotal evidence of these two incidents neither seems to be the case. Our thoughts are with Mr Simmons and all Martina's family. Philip Springfield - Address supplied


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