An 83-year-old woman was left lying on the floor of her home as she endured a 17 hour wait for an ambulance.

Retired teacher Sheila Martin, from Haverfordwest, called the Welsh Ambulance Service after collapsing with crippling stomach cramps at 4.30pm on Wednesday, August 18.

The ambulance did not arrive until 9.30am the next morning.

Her daughter, Fiona Kempsell, said: "This should not happen to anyone else's parents. Nobody should be left lying there that long, nobody."

On the night Mrs Martin collapsed, the police were called and tried to make her wait as comfortable as possible by moving her onto a sunbed mattress laid on the floor.

Paramedics were said to be in shock when they arrived on the scene a whole night after the initial call was made.

Mrs Kempsell, who is based in Surrey, said she even tried calling her county's ambulance service to attend to her mother after she was reportedly told by Welsh Ambulance that a 'non urgent ambulance' would go out when they went on shift and that they were too busy to be able to send help to her at the time.

The incident is the lastest in a long line of examples of the Welsh Ambulance Service being under strain. 

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At the beginning of the month, ambulance staff in Newport reported feeling 'soul destroyed' by having to queue outside the new Grange Hospital in Cwmbran for up to thirteen hours.

Sonia Thompson, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s assistant director of operations in the emergency medical service, apologised to Mrs Martin in what has been a stressful time for the organisation.

"The Welsh Ambulance Service has been under significant and well-documented pressures in recent weeks," said Ms Thompson.

"As a result, some patients have regrettably had to wait for a longer time than we would like to get help, of which Mrs Martin was one.

"We would like to apologise to Mrs Martin and to all of those patients who have had a poor experience, and send her our very best wishes.

"We encourage Mrs Martin and her family to get in touch with us directly so that we can look into what happened further."

Police confirmed they were the first to arrive on the scene and tried to make Mrs Martin as comfortable as possible.

Mrs Kempsell said her mother was very shocked by the experience, but is fine now having had a visit from her GP and does not appear to have experienced any long term effects.

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