Disabled woman’s anger at six hour wait for health transport to Norwich hospital

Beryl Antony from Norwich who had to wait six hours for a private ambulance.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Beryl Antony from Norwich who had to wait six hours for a private ambulance.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A disabled woman has hit out at a private health transport provider after she had to wait for up to six hours to be picked up and taken home.

Beryl Antony, 74, said she had to sit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) while ERS Medical promised its vehicle was on the way.

Beryl, a retired teacher, booked the transport at 1.45pm to her Bishopgate home in Norwich after a pre-operative appointment on January 7.

But she said she waited until 7.10pm, when the firm finally sent a taxi.

ERS medical apologised to Beryl but disputed her claim that she waited for six hours, saying she was late for its arrival and that it was closer to five hours.

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Beryl, who has arthritis and extreme back pain, meaning she can only stand for two minutes at a time, said she was left vulnerable in the hospital for too long.

She said: 'I feel very angry about it and worry about the other patients using the service.

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'When I am in a wheelchair I am stuck where I am.

'I couldn't go to the café and I was helped to the toilet. Their service is abominable.'

Norfolk's NHS commissioners gave the Leeds firm the contract over the more expensive East of England Ambulance Trust bid, despite complaints about the service in Essex and at the Barts Hospital in London.

A spokesman from the NNUH Foundation Trust emphasised the importance of patients being provided with the best possible transport service by ERS Medical.

Craig Wood, head of care at ERS Medical, apologised to the patient.

He said: 'This was a very busy period, and we are sorry the patient had to wait for this length of time.

'We are hoping to meet with her to discuss this in person.'

What do you think? Email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk or write (giving your full name) to Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE

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