Malton man who had heart attack forced to 'get lift' from his son to York Hospital as ambulance service feels strain

The pressure on ambulance services in North Yorkshire has been underlined after a man having a heart attack said he needed to get a lift to hospital from his son.

By Victoria Finan
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 12:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 12:04 pm
Mr Reagan described his experience on the BBC’s Politics North programme and said he wanted to highlight the strain the service was under.  (Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)
Mr Reagan described his experience on the BBC’s Politics North programme and said he wanted to highlight the strain the service was under. (Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images)

Graham Reagan, from Malton, said his wife had been asked if he could get a lift to hospital when she called for an ambulance.

Mr Reagan described his experience on the BBC’s Politics North programme and said he wanted to highlight the strain the service was under.

"I’d had indigestion, or so I thought, for a couple of days, and then on December 17 I went to bed early feeling rough."

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After the chest pain got worse, Mr Reagan asked his wife to call for an ambulance who was asked whether he could get a lift to hospital as the nearest ambulance was about 20 to 30 miles away.

He said: "My wife doesn’t drive, but fortunately my son was with us and he drove me to York hospital."

Mr Reagan said they found the entrance to A&E had been re-routed when they arrived at the hospital.

"So, we then had to walk out of the hospital grounds and back in - by which time I’m collapsing," he added.

He said staff at the hospital were "absolutely brilliant" and arranged for him to be transferred to Hull for treatment after a heart attack was confirmed, though he faced a further 35-minute delay waiting for an ambulance to take him.

Mr Reagan expressed his concerns about the pressure on the NHS.

"So, what does an NHS crisis look like? I think if it’s two 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."

In a statement, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it was "sorry to learn that concerns have been raised" and added that, in common with other ambulance services, it had been under "significant operational pressures for some time" and while staff are going their best to respond quickly to all emergencies "some patients are having to wait longer for an ambulance response."

It comes after reports that ambulance crews in Yorkshire are being supported by military forces.

Members of the military will be helping to drive ambulances to non-emergency cases due to high numbers of NHS staff self-isolating.

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