10 hour wait for hospital care slammed as 'inhuman'

Norland Fisk had to wait six hours for an ambulance then a further four hours to be admitted to Ipswich hospital

Norland Fisk had to wait six hours for an ambulance then a further four hours to be admitted to Ipswich hospital - Credit: MICHELLE RUEL

The care provided to an 81-year-old man following a fall has been slammed as "inhuman" after he spent six hours lying on a floor in pain waiting for an ambulance, then a further four hours waiting to be admitted to hospital. 

Martin Curtis, 60, said it was "not right" that his father-in-law Norland Fisk had to endure the delays at Ipswich Hospital and called for action to be taken – including potentially installing temporary buildings to care for patients so ambulances can get back on the road. 

Mr Fisk fell at his home at 2am on April 12 after getting out of bed. He was looked after by his wife Barbara, 79, who was told by the ambulance service to expect a long delay because of the large number of calls at that time. 

The care Mr Fisk received at Ipswich hospital was described as 'inhuman'

The care Mr Fisk received at Ipswich hospital was described as 'inhuman' - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

She was told not to move her husband because of concerns that any injuries would be made worse and he could suffer damage to his organs. 

The ambulance eventually arrived at 8.30am, but Mr Fisk experienced further delays upon arrival at the Heath Road hospital and had to wait in the ambulance until he was admitted at 12.30pm. 

Fortunately, he did not suffer any significant injuries during the fall and has been kept in hospital for observation.

Norland Fisk pictured in 2016

Norland Fisk pictured in 2016 - Credit: MARTIN CURTIS

Mr Curtis praised the care provided by the ambulance crews but was particularly concerned about the hospital side. 

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He said: “It seems that as a society we seem to say ‘it is due to the Covid pandemic’ and just accept that, but the people in charge need to make a decision and act on it, whether that is installing temporary buildings to get people processed or whether that is bringing in the army. 

“Keeping people in ambulances for four hours is inhuman. You would not do that to animals. If you kept animals outside in pain like that for four hours then there would be animal rights protests about it. There must be something they can put in place to stop this from happening?” 

Nick Hulme, chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ipswich hospital, said: “Our teams are working extremely hard to make sure everyone who needs our care and treatment receives it in the right place and at the right time so we can get ambulances back on the road as quickly as possible. 

“We are, of course, very sorry to hear about this patient’s experience. We would encourage them, or a nominated family member with their consent, to contact our PALS team who will listen to their concerns and investigate them further.”