20-hour wait for NHS care

David Prescott with wife Roz and their children EMN-150421-112804001
David Prescott with wife Roz and their children EMN-150421-112804001

The seriously ill wife of prospective Labour MP for Market Rasen David Prescott was forced to wait 20 hours for an ambulance due to shortages.

Roz, 39, was misdiagnosed as having a bug when she actually had a serious kidney infection. But in spite of being physically sick 20 times in one day, East Midlands Ambulance Service refused to send an ambulance.

Mr Prescott, 44, has been left extremely worried and has called on whichever party wins the election to make better healthcare for the rural areas an urgent priority, saying “lives are potentially at risk from an NHS stretched to breaking point”.

He said: “The NHS has contributed so much to my family.

“But our experience this weekend has made me think something has gone seriously wrong in the level of care and diagnosis in parts of the NHS, especially in rural areas.”

Roz fell ill last Wednesday and by Saturday her condition had deteriorated so the couple went to Newark Hospital.

Mr Prescott said: “She’d been physically sick almost every hour. The doctor checked her over but failed to give her a blood test, adding she had a virus and that she shouldn’t eat for two days.

“By Sunday night, Roz looked like death. She was shaking and was sick 18 times that day. We thought the bug was getting worse but felt it must be something more. I called NHS 111 and talked them through the symptoms. After a callback from a GP, they recommended we call 999 to get an ambulance. I thought this would be relatively easy.”

But EMAS said she was not an emergency and would not send an ambulance.

By this point Roz had been sick for the 20th time and could not travel by car.

The Prescotts called NHS 111 again but by the time they called back Roz was asleep from exhaustion and nausea.

Mr Prescott said: “To make matters worse, the nurse said she was amazed EAMS hadn’t sent an ambulance.”

On Monday morning Roz had deteriorated even further and was constantly shaking.

“We called our local GP and were promised a call back. Three hours later I called to chase it. It turned out we weren’t seen as an emergency. Eventually, they sent a doctor who finally booked the ambulance – nearly 20 hours after we first tried to get one.”

Roz was taken to Lincoln hospital on Monday, where staff discovered she had a kidney infection caused by serious dehydration.

“Certain parts of our NHS are now under such demand and under-investment that mistakes and wrong decisions are being made. I don’t blame EMAS – the real blame lies at the foot of a Government that has under-invested in the NHS, cut social budgets and increased waiting times.”