‘Will you take me home and let me die’: Pensioner’s 12-hour ordeal – when all she needed was an x-ray

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The family of an 86-year-old Hartlepool woman described the NHS as a “shambles” after she waited nine hours on a trolley to be seen.

Pensioner Sheila Wood experienced a 12-hour nightmare from first going to the One Life Hartlepool urgent care service to arriving back home after an x-ray which took just 10 minutes.

The North East Ambulance Service has apologised after an ambulance was not available to take Mrs Wood, who had a suspected broken hip, to hospital.

It was while One Life staff said she should not be moved before allowing her son Gerald Wood to take by car to the University Hospital of North Tees where she waited a further three hours to be seen.

Roofer Gerald, 60, said: “It’s not just my mother, numerous people are getting short changed off the NHS. The One Life and NHS is a shambles.”

Mrs Wood, a mother of eight and grandmother to 70, who loves on the Headland, was taken by family to the One Life Hartlepool medical centre in Park Road at 2.30pm on Tuesday, March 29.

She had fallen while at home the previous weekend and was experiencing pain in her knee.

It was not until 12.30am the following morning that she was x-rayed at hospital which confirmed nothing was broken and was told she could go home.

Gerald said: “Nine hours sitting about because there wasn’t the facilities or an ambulance to transfer her from A to B.

“In the end she said ‘son will you take me home and let me die on my own settee’.

“It was about 3am when I got her home. There’s a hospital in Hartlepool.

“It’s so frustrating that an 86-year-old woman and others are sitting about waiting because of a shortage of staff and not enough ambulances to transfer people from Hartlepool. This can’t be right.”

The North East Ambulance Service apologised for the wait experienced by Mrs Wood.

Paul Liversidge, chief operating officer said, “The One Life Centre made a booking for a patient through our GP Urgent Booking Service at 4.25pm on Tuesday, March 29.

“Urgent and emergency services in the area were under significant pressure.

“An urgent ambulance was dispatched at around 8.30pm but unfortunately was diverted to a more seriously ill patient.

“The booking was later cancelled by the centre. Whilst we must always prioritise patients with the most serious life threatening conditions, we must also apologise for the patient’s experience on this occasion.”

The Mail contacted North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hartlepool and North Tees hospitals as well as runs the Minor Injuries Unit at One Life Hartlepool but it declined to comment.