An injured pensioner had to endure a 15-hour wait for an ambulance in the rain and laid helplessly on the floor as his family built a makeshift shelter out of a football goal.
David, 87, suffered from a catastrophic fall at his home and was left with seven broken ribs, two fractures to his pelvis and an arm wound.
His daughter Karen and son-in-law Trevor, phoned 999 at 7.30pm on Monday, but an ambulance didn't arrive until 11.30am the next day in Cornwall.
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According to the couple, operators said that someone would be with them "soon" and instructed them not to move him in case it made his injuries worse.
So they then had to use a football goal, umbrellas and a tarpaulin to give him shelter – as it poured down.
David is now recovering at Royal Cornwall in Treliske.
Trever said: ''We kept ringing and they would say we will be with you soon. My wife was a nervous wreck.
''They kept telling us not to move him so we borrowed a football goal from next door and used a tarpaulin. It was traumatizing.''
It comes amid lengthy waiting times for hospital treatment in Cornwall – with patients saying they have waited outside hospital in ambulances for hours and even days.
Daphne Syms, 90, fell in her home in St Austell, Cornwall on Sunday, and didn't get taken to A&E until Tuesday afternoon, her family claimed.
However, her lengthy wait was far from over, and after a 17-mile journey to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, she had no choice but to stay in the van due to an influx of patients, reports The Mirror.
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Daphne is now awaiting an operation on her hip but Steven says the NHS system is “totally broken” and claims that it took nine minutes for his 999 call to be answered.
“We're literally heartbroken to see a 90-year-old woman in such distress, just sat there waiting,” Mr Syms told BBC Radio Cornwall.
“It’s the not-knowing how ill she was or whether she had broken anything. The system is totally broken.
“If that was a cardiac arrest, nine minutes is much too long – it’s the end of somebody’s life. The system is not deteriorating, it’s totally broken and needs to be urgently reviewed.”
A Care Quality Commission report from June warned of “significant work” needed to improve emergency care in Cornwall, where the average wait for category two calls is “around the 200-minute mark”, according to chief executive of the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Debbie Richards.
A spokesman for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust told the Telegraph: “We are sorry and upset that we were unable to provide Mr Syms’s mother with the timely response and care that she needed.
“We are working with our partners in the NHS and social care in Cornwall, to do all we can to improve the service that patients receive.”
Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been approached for a comment about David.
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