Suspected stroke victim waited nearly three hours in ambulance


Andrew Gowen's 90-year-old mother waited almost three hours in the back of an ambulance on Monday due to James Paget University Hospital's A&E department being busy. - Credit: Supplied

A woman suspected of suffering a stroke was left waiting outside for nearly three hours due to wait times at a hospital in Gorleston.

On Monday, Andrew Gowen's 90-year-old mother was taken to James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) after suffering a suspected stroke. She was stationed in the back of an ambulance for two-and-a-half hours while a slow-moving queue of 14 ambulances waited to bring patients into A&E.

A survey has been launched by the James Paget hospital

James Paget University Hospital's A&E department has urged people to only go if it is a genuine emergency. - Credit: JPUH

Mr Gowen, 60 and from Caister, said: "The system is just letting everybody down."

On Monday afternoon, James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) announced on Twitter that their A&E department was "very busy" and urged people to not attend unless it is a "genuine emergency".

Mr Gowen said "it was quite the morning" while he tried to get his mother to the Emergency Department.


Once Andrew Gowen's mother was admitted to A&E, she was unable to be visitors as the department was so busy. - Credit: Supplied

At around 7.15am on Monday, Mr Gowen called 999 as he suspected his mother was having a stroke.

"We were told that it would take over two hours for an ambulance to arrive," Mr Gowen said.

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"That's well beyond any time a doctor could have given her some medication to do anything about a stroke.

"When mum arrived at the Paget, there were 14 ambulances outside. They were effectively being used as additional A&E cubicles because the department was choc-a-bloc."


Patients were triaged by nurses, while ambulances waited to admit them into James Paget University Hospital's busy A&E. - Credit: Supplied

Mr Gowen said his mother was triaged by a nurse in the back of the ambulance while waiting outside the hospital for two-and-a-half hours.

Mr Gowen said his mother was later taken into A&E, but he had to return home as the department was so busy.

"Nobody was able to sit with her," he said.

"At the moment, the system of the ambulances and the way A&E is dealt with is just letting everybody down.

"But, the ambulance crew were brilliant."


14 ambulances were stationary outside James Paget University Hospital this morning. - Credit: Supplied

A spokesperson for the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney said: “Our Emergency Departments are currently very busy and we would urge people to only attend in a genuine emergency. 

"Anyone who needs medical assistance should choose the right service for their healthcare needs - and should consider dialling 111 in the first instance or visiting the NHS 111 website.

"The 111 team will be able to give advice and can allocate timed slots should a patient need to attend an Emergency Department, which assists our teams and can reduce the time they may have to wait.”