As she waited to get an ambulance, a 95 year-old lady was left on the floor and was not able to move for eleven hours. Before help arrived, she was surrounded by her family. 

Joan Massey, who is blind, was left in fear and agony after she fell at her home in Birmingham on November 23.

Helen Brooks discovered that the elderly lady was alive just minutes before she called emergency services.

However, it wasn’t until eleven hours later when the paramedics reached the site.   

Since then, West Midlands Ambulance Service has apologized and stated that it was dealing with high demand.

Wendy Massey (72), her daughter-in law, described the way the 72-year-old pensioner received water through a wet towel, before her son could use a tea spoon for water while they waited to see the emergency service.  

The pensioner might have been present for over 13 hours, as she was not located immediately.  

Helen Brooks, 95, was left waiting for an ambulance for 11 hours after she fell at her home in Birmingham on November 23

Helen Brooks, 95 years old, was left waiting in an ambulance for over 11 hours when she fell from her Birmingham house on November 23.

She stated: Her stay on the ground lasted more than thirteen hours.

We don’t even know the length of her time she was there before we got here. Although she does have a helpline wrapped around her neck she clearly forgot it when she found herself in this situation.

I was on the twilight shift, when the ambulance arrived. We don’t know the time she was found on the ground.

“Helen called 999 around quarter past ten and was there the entire time. Joan clearly was not comfortable for much of the time. She wanted to be able to move, but it is hard because you cannot be moved in such a situation.

“She is a blind woman. The result was that she lived in the dark and didn’t know what was happening. She also has very poor hearing.

Wendy claimed that her husband called the ambulance seven hours after she woke up at 5pm.

“He had to give her water and a little bit of kitchen roll, because she was so awkwardly placed. Because she really wanted water, he eventually gave her sparkling water with a tea spoon.

“Each call to the ambulance was met with a resounding no and they informed us that they had other priorities. That’s all we know. I don’t think they will give us special attention.

‘But 13 hours! The main Queen Elizabeth Hospital is only twelve minutes drive away.

“She looked frail at the time. My husband called again the paramedics.

“They were asked the same question, Are they breathing, etc., and the second was a yes. After that time on the floor, her breathing became slower, so I don’t know if this helped us move up on the list.

“It had been about quarter past eleven when the paramedics came knocking on my door.” Although they were full of excuses, it was clear that this wasn’t their fault. However, they tried their best to help in these difficult times.

They were able to quickly deal with her. They examined her and found nothing obvious. After checking her over, they took the lilo out and transferred her. Unfortunately, she was crying in pain and isn’t complaining.

“That is why, to me and my family, communication between the hospital and us in this instance, or the lack thereof, was crucial.” 

Joan's family said they had to go give the pensioner  water via a wet tissue as they waited for an ambulance

Joan’s family said they had to go give the pensioner  water via a wet tissue as they waited for an ambulance

Wendy claims that there were constant communication problems between her family and hospital since she was admitted, leading to confusion about where she is.

She stated that she couldn’t reach us. It was hard to know where she was. It was amazing to see her. She was moving through the system.

The nurses are expected to have their own phones, and so they don’t pick up the phone from the nurses. However, Joan can’t give us her location because she’s in such a bad situation that she doesn’t know where we are.

“She’s had an X-ray since Thursday to determine if there is any damage. She was also supposed to be contacted by the doctor on Saturday. But, no one has called yet.

“Because we have not yet heard from her, even though she’s been admitted for days,”

Joan is now in recovery and Helen, her daughter, has been in touch with the hospital to discuss her condition.

Joan arrived at the hospital with what appeared to be a severe urinary infection. It is common for elderly people to fall.

Wendy stated that Wendy was not eating, and she wouldn’t wake up from her bed. All of these are symptoms that can be expected in a bladder infection.

“She is doing better, I think. She has received painkillers as well as a drip to rehydrate.

She did experience a delusional moment Saturday where she couldn’t remember where she was. But the hospital indicated that she might soon be moved to one bed so we can both visit her.

“Currently we are unable to go and be there for her, which is very distressing.

Wendy said that Joan is too fragile to be living alone and some might wonder if Wendy was right. However, Wendy explained that Joan’s circumstances make it more appropriate for her.

She explained that she was a single woman of this age and had her family visit her every day, sometimes even twice per day. Also, her home is on the ground level. There were never any problems before.

“Not to mention that she is blind, but she can find everything in her house. She would be completely disoriented if you moved her.  

The spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said that they would like to apologize to Mrs Massey, her family and the inconvenience of not responding sooner.

The NHS continues to be under pressure. We are seeing this in particular in our West Midlands service. Patients have been waiting for ambulance responses longer because of delays in hospital handover.

“Unfortunately, our company was also faced with high demand from patients with life-threatening illnesses.

“We have been working together with local health care partners to minimize delays, so that crews can respond quickly to any new incident. Staff and volunteers will continue their tireless efforts to help as fast as they can.

“We will continue to increase frontline staffing as well as control room staffing. We have also introduced several measures to reduce pressures on the service.