Ambulance bosses apologise for delay picking up hospice patient

Ambulance chiefs have apologised and launched an investigation after a seriously ill elderly lady had to wait six hours be taken to a hospice.

The medical team at the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted revealed they are considering costly private ambulance options following the incident, which is not the first of its kind, in order to provide its patients with a better service.

Hospice medical director Sharon Chadwick had requested a ‘within the hour’ ambulance after visiting a patient with breathing difficulties at her Hemel Hempstead home.

But the stretched East of England Ambulance service, which is expected to prioritise 999 calls across the region, was unable to pick the lady up for several hours.

Ambulance general manager Karl Edwards said: “I have spoken to the patient’s family to apologise for the unacceptable length of time that she had to wait.

“The family have said they were grateful for the level of comfort calls provided and the level of care given by the ambulance crew, as well as our swift actions to get this investigated.”