Severely disabled man speaks out after waiting six-and-a-half hours for West Midlands ambulance

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A man with severe disabilities says he waited six-and-a-half hours for an ambulance to arrive in December.

David Steele, who is from Birmingham, waited until almost 1am for help after he fell on December 10 and couldn't get back up.

The 62-year-old has suffered more than 120 falls since undergoing neck surgery which left him with life changing injuries in 2009.

Since then he occasionally loses feeling in his ankles as a result of nerve damage, and can fall instantly, but is not able to get himself back up when this happens.

He wears a pendant alarm which he can use to contact emergency services when he falls - but after his recent call he was left waiting on the floor for hours.

Mr Steele called for help at around 6.30pm at his home in Holloway Head in Birmingham, but paramedics did not arrive until 12.48am. 

David Steele tells ITV Central he started experiencing panic attacks while waiting for an ambulance

Mr Steele told ITV Central: "I started getting panic attacks as if I felt as though nobody was going to come and help me and I'm lying there all helpless."

"I needed a drink and I needed something to eat because I'm a type 2 diabetic and I got no help at all."

He is not the only patient who has had to endure long hospital waiting times in Birmingham, as a freedom of information request seen by ITV News reveals.

In November - Ambulances spent 4,020 hours waiting to discharge their patients outside Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham. 

The figures also revealed that the hospital had more than 2,000 hours of waiting time for the first half of December. 

That makes it the Emergency department with the longest wait in the West Midlands.

Mr Steele suggested St John Ambulance could take patients in lower category cases to take pressure off the ambulances.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesperson said the call had been placed as category three, the second lowest priority.

They said: "The whole of the NHS remains under severe pressure and unfortunately, long hospital handover delays on the day meant some of our patients waited longer for an ambulance to come to them in the community than we would want.

"We are working with all local partners across the health and care system to reduce delays so crews can respond to the next incident as quickly as possible.

"We would like to apologise to Mr Steele for the time it took to reach him. Our staff are working tirelessly to respond to patients as soon as we can."