Great-grandmother, 93, left writhing in pain on floor 'waiting more than nine hours' for ambulance

The 93 year old was left waiting for 'at least 9 hours'
Beryl Murray, 93, was left waiting on the floor for 'over nine hours' Credit: BPM MEDIA

A 93-year-old woman was left "in agony" as she waited for "more than nine hours" for an ambulance to arrive at her home in Great Barr, Birmingham.

Beryl Murray broke her leg, after her right leg gave way while she was moving from her walker into a stairlift.

She was able to reach for her careline alarm, which notified the ambulance service at 5.22pm.

The alert also notified her son Stephen and his wife Wendy, who drove 70 miles from their home in Stonesfield, Oxford.

But paramedics arrived 'more than nine hours later,' at 2.33am the next morning.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said it was due to "hospital handover delays".

But the Murray family has called the wait time "totally unacceptable" and said "something has to change" to prevent a tragedy happening.

West Midlands Ambulance Service Credit: West Midlands Ambulance Service/PA

Daughter-in-law Wendy said: "It was nine hours of her writhing in pain, it was awful to watch.

"My husband was very distressed seeing his mum like that. It's totally unreasonable that someone of 93 and in that level of pain should have to endure that for such a long period of time.

"When we called the ambulance to find out how long they would be, we were warned it could take up to six hours because they were so busy. We called back a few times but it was after 2.30am by the time the ambulance arrived, which is just totally unacceptable.

"We just tried to make her as comfortable as possible until the ambulance turned up. She was complaining of pain in her lower back so we didn't dare move her.

"Her colour was changing so we were getting really worried. She just kept saying 'I'm in so much pain' and 'my leg is hurting so much'.

"We found out from the hospital the next day she had broken her leg, which was a big shock. That made it even worse, knowing the level of pain she must have been in for that long.

"Above all, something has to change. People could lose their lives if it doesn't."

One week after her fall and Beryl remains in Sandwell Hospital, waiting for an operation on her leg. 

West Midlands Ambulance Service has issued an apology to Beryl and her family, citing "severe pressure" facing the NHS. They said the patient's condition had not worsened when follow-up calls were received.

An ambulance service spokeswoman said: "We would like to apologise to Ms Murray and her family for the time it took to reach her.

"The whole of the NHS remains under severe pressure and unfortunately, hospital handover delays mean some patients are waiting far longer for an ambulance to come to them than we would want.

"A paramedic in our control room contacted the patient to check on her condition. The paramedic would have upgraded the call had her condition changed.

"We continue to work with local partners to find ways to reduce the delays so that our crews can respond more quickly. Our staff and volunteers continue to work tirelessly to respond as soon as we can."