Heart attack patient in England told to make own way to hospital

Posted: January 17th 2022


A frightening insight into some of the challenges around having a major incident at home in rural England at the moment, this story tells us:

An ambulance service has apologised after a man having a heart attack was advised to get himself to hospital or face a long wait.

Graham Reagan said his son had to drive him to hospital after being told the nearest ambulance was 30 to 40 miles away.

Reagan, from Malton in North Yorkshire, said he called 999 when his chest pains became unbearable and that he was collapsing when he arrived at York hospital in the early hours of 18 December.

“What does an NHS crisis look like? If it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, you’re having a heart attack, and you can’t get an ambulance, is that a crisis? It’s not working. It certainly didn’t work for me,” he said.

The army was last week drafted in to drive ambulances in parts of England, including Yorkshire and in the home counties, as the service comes under huge pressure amid staff absences of up to 20% due to Covid.

Reagan said he was with his wife and son when they were advised to drive him to hospital as he suffered a suspected heart attack.

“My wife doesn’t drive, but fortunately my son was with us and he drove me to York hospital. I’m in the back of the car – the pain is getting worse and I’m now getting quite upset,” he said.