Elderly man waits 10 ‘excruciating’ hours for an ambulance after neck break

A 74-year-old grandfather waited 10 hours in “excruciating pain” for an ambulance after he slipped and broke his neck in a Premier Inn bathroom.

Bryan Bartlett slipped while getting out of the bathtub he’d be standing and showering in at around 6pm, reported the Telegraph.

His wife told reception staff to call 999 immediately but there were no ambulances available.

An ambulance finally arrived at the Premier Inn in Weymouth, Dorset, at 4am.

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His son Daniel said Bryan, from Southampton, was in Weymouth visiting friends when he came “flying out”.

He said Bryan had to endure “excruciating” pain” and needed to use all his strength to get out the bath because his wife, who tried to help, is disabled.

According to Daniel, Bryan was saying his head felt like it would fall off.

At around 3am, Bryan’s wife called 999 again and the ambulance arrived at roughly 4am.

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The grandfather was treated at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester. Scans confirmed he had a broken neck and would need a neck brace for six months.

Bryan was told he was a “very lucky man”, Daniel says, as he could have died or been paralysed.

The family claimed there was no mat on the bathroom floor.

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A Premier Inn spokesman said: “Our hotel baths all have a non-slip coating, as well as a visible anti-slip area at the shower end to minimise the chances of slipping.

“We also make bath mats available on request should guests want one during their stay, which can be requested from reception on arrival or at any point day or night.

“Our team worked with the guest after they were made aware of the incident and we all wish him a speedy recovery and the very best.”

A spokesman for the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) said: “We are sorry that we were unable to provide Mr Bartlett with a timely response and we would like to wish him well in his recovery.

“Our ambulance clinicians strive every day to give their best to patients, but during the period of hot weather in early September, we saw the demand on our service increase to levels we have not experienced since early 2023.

“Our partners in the NHS and social care also saw an increase in demand during this time. We are all working hard to improve the service that patients receive.”

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