A PENSIONER was forced to wait 17 hours for an ambulance after her doctor became concerned about her diarrhoea.

A 79-year-old West Kilbride woman had emergency services called by a medic at noon but wasn’t picked up and taken to Crosshouse till 5am the following morning.

She was suffering from irregular bowel movements, pain, and dehydration as she waited for help to arrive.

Now her 73-year-old brother is calling for more paramedics in the area so sick residents aren’t stuck waiting hours for help.

He said staff were brilliant but ‘fed up’ with how little resourced they were and were ‘obviously under a lot of pressure’.

He said: “She wasn’t feeling well her stomach was sore so the doctor was sent out and he called for an ambulance to Crosshouse.

“We called about two and a half hours later after it never arrived but heard nothing back.

“They said if you feel her condition is getting worse call 999 but I’m not a doctor I don’t know and I thought you only call 999 if it is an urgent life or death situation.

“At 5am it finally arrived, she had slept a bit but was still feeling ill and was taken to Crosshouse.

“Wouldn’t you be worried if it takes 17-hour for an ambulance to come.

“I know there was a meltdown that day and they couldn’t cope.

“When the ambulance people eventually came at 5am I spoke with one of the girls driving and she told me they didn’t get the call until midnight.

“The staff were brilliant but they are obviously under a lot of pressure.

“My sister’s carer had phoned for the doctor, she’s housebound.

“People keep saying the NHS is going down the chute and you say to yourself ‘I’ve heard that before’ but see when you experience yourself you realise they are right enough.

“A spokesperson for NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: “We apologise to our patients and their families who are having to wait longer than we would like during this time due to the high demand for unscheduled care services.

“This extremely high demand has meant extended delays for patients while they wait for transfer to their care specialty.

“We are doing everything possible to alleviate this situation and ensure that patients are cared for appropriately while they are not in the location we wish them to be.

“Each patient attending our Emergency Departments (ED) or Combined Assessment Unit is triaged on arrival and undergoes an assessment by the clinical team which then enables them to receive treatment appropriate to their condition.

“Unfortunately there have been occasions where there have been delays for our ambulance crews. We are working closely with Scottish Ambulance Service to minimise these delays.”