A distressing incident unfolded in Wrexham, North Wales, as a UK grandmother, Rachel Rose Gibson, tragically passed away in her own home while waiting for an ambulance for five hours.
Despite the hospital being a mere five-minute drive away, the ambulance arrived too late, and Gibson, 58, was found on the floor, wrapped in a blanket daughter Nikita said, according to the Guardian.
The ordeal began on April 5, when Gibson urgently called for assistance after experiencing severe coughing, blood in her cough, and chronic pain. However, the ambulance only arrived at 9:30 p.m., by which time Gibson had already succumbed to an apparent heart attack.
Nikita, 29, expressed deep sorrow and anger, stating, “It haunts me to know she died alone in so much pain.” She further added that her mother lived only five minutes away from the hospital but was likely in too much agony to consider taking a taxi.
Following Gibson’s tragic death, Liam Williams, the executive director of quality and nursing at the Welsh ambulance service, issued an apology and pledged to launch an investigation into the incident.
Reports indicated that on the same day as Gibson’s passing, ambulances across Wales were facing significant delays, with crews waiting for hours outside hospitals. This situation resulted in compromised response times for patients in the community, exacerbating an already strained healthcare system.
Gibson’s death sheds light on the ongoing crisis within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Waiting times in emergency rooms have soared, with tens of thousands of patients enduring extended delays. The challenges faced by hospitals in discharging patients promptly contribute to the strain on healthcare services, according to the Leader.
Michelle Greene, representing the Betsi Cadwaladr university health board, acknowledged the hospital’s struggles in managing its patient flow effectively. Apologizing for the prolonged waiting times, she emphasized the dedication of the nursing and medical staff, despite the persistently high demand on emergency departments.