Elderly woman dies in the back of an ambulance after 15 hour wait

A former NHS worker has described the treatment of her 70-year-old sister as “not humane”, after she was forced to wait 15 hours in an ambulance outside A&E, before eventually bleeding to death. Marie Denton was rushed to Torbay hospital in South Devon on November 27, after she started vomiting blood. On arrival, paramedics were unable to admit the elderly woman to hospital, and she had to stay in the ambulance despite her condition being labeled a category one emergency.

Mrs Denton’s health continued to deteriorate and she vomited more blood, causing paramedics to alert hospital staff. A nurse was sent from the hospital to do dome tests, before the paramedics helped the 70-year-old go to the toilet where she “was just passing pure blood”.

Although the ambulance crew informed the hospital staff again, no one came to her aid. Bridget Haynes, the sister of Mrs Denton, has expressed her anger at the way her sibling was treated.

She told Sky News: “My sister’s dead because she was in an ambulance for 15 hours and that’s not right. “That’s just not right. To die the way she did, it wasn’t humane.

“You wouldn’t let the dog suffer like that.” Although initially in good spirits and talkative, by the time Mrs Denton was admitted to hospital, she was barely conscious and just able to mumble “thank you, sorry, thank you”.

Three days later on November 30, the 70-year-old’s family received a call from the hospital informing them that her condition had taken a turn for the worse.

On arriving at the hospital, they were told she had fallen out of bed. She died later that day.

Mrs Haynes, who worked for 37 years in the NHS until 2017, said she could not believe what was happening to the health care service.

She said: “I am just so angry about it. She bled to death.

READ MORE: Paramedic apologizes for patients who died waiting for an ambulance

“It shouldn’t have happened. I am just so angry about it. I just want some answers.

“I want to know why my sister fell out of bed for a start, and why in this day and age – 15 hours in an ambulance?

“We’re like a third-world country. And we’re one of the richest countries going and this is happening. It’s not right.”

She praised the paramedics as “absolutely brilliant” but called on the Government to sort out the current crisis.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “No one should have to wait longer than necessary for emergency care, which is why we are taking urgent action to support services.

“We recognize the pressures the NHS is facing and the Health and Social Care Secretary announced up to £250 million of additional funding to immediately help reduce hospital bed occupancy, alleviate pressures on A&E and unlock much-needed ambulance handovers.

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“This is on top of the £500 million Discharge Fund to speed up the safe discharge of patients who are medically fit to leave hospital, and the NHS creating the equivalent of 7,000 more beds as well as establishing 24/7 data driven system control centers in every local area to manage demand and capacity.”

Ian Currie, the medical director of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, told Sky News: “We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to Mrs Shenton’s family.

“We cannot comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality but remain in contact with her next of kin.

“We don’t want anyone waiting in an ambulance longer than necessary and all patients arriving at our emergency department are triaged and assessed, with the most clinically urgent being prioritized.

“We work closely with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust to make sure everyone waiting in an ambulance is robustly assessed, monitored, and their care is escalated and prioritized appropriately.”

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