Elderly lady forced to wait three hours for ambulance

These neighbours and family never imagined they'd be forced to watch an 83-year-old cry in pain.

Francesca Verna was seriously injured after a fall on this Abbotsford footpath.

A neighbour immediately called for an ambulance, and as minutes turned into hours more people joined to comfort Mrs Verna.

They covered her in blankets, gave her water and protected her from the harsh sun.

Mrs Verna as she lay on the footpath waiting for medical attention. Source: 7 News

One hour passed and they called again.

"They advised us that there were no ambulances available and even if you had chest pains that couldn't send anybody," a neighbour told 7News.

They became increasingly worried as Mrs Verna's condition deteriorated.

Finally, three hours later an ambulance arrived.

Worried onlookers shield Mrs Verna from the harsh sun. Source: 7 News

Two paramedics immediately gave her pain-relief to stablise the 83 year old who also suffers from kidney disease.

The first call was made just before 10 this morning, but ambulance wasn't dispatched until 12:38.

It traveled from within a six kilometre radius, arriving 40 minutes later.

Royal Prince Alfred hospital is only 10kms away from where Mrs Verna was stranded in excruciating pain.

The fury over the wait goes beyond Mrs Verna's suburb of Abbottsford.

After waiting for three hours, Mrs Verna is finally attened to by paramedics. Source: 7 News

Gerard Hayes from the Health Services Union told 7 News that this is an issue he is having to raise every single day.

"Ambulance deal with life and death matters every single day a delay to a response yes ultimately people will suffer," Mr Hayes said.

Mrs Verna and her family don't blame the paramedics, in fact they shared their story to help them and other patients.


''NSW Ambulance senior managers have this afternoon visited an 83 year old patient in hospital to personally apologise for the unacceptable 2 hour and 40 minute delay in the response to her.

NSW Ambulance is reviewing its response to this patient.

NSW Ambulance is regretful of any delay in reaching patients.

We apologise for the distress this patient, her family and those who assisted her suffered. ''

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