Cancer patient 'stuck like beached whale' after 'drop'

Robert Wiley
Image caption Robert Wiley has been bed-ridden for several years and suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bladder cancer

A cancer patient has complained to an ambulance firm after being "dropped" on his household steps while being taken to hospital.

Robert Wiley, 62, who weighs 23-stone, told the BBC he fell on his back after the specially adapted wheelchair he was in toppled over.

"I was stuck like a beached whale, it was embarrassing," said bed-ridden Mr Wiley from Saltash in Cornwall.

The ambulance firm said the crew used a "controlled lower to the ground".

More on this story and others from Devon and Cornwall

Former van driver Mr Wiley suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bladder cancer, and needs an oxygen supply to breathe properly.

He was being taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth for a scan last Thursday when he said the accident happened.

Image caption The firm responsible for transporting Mr Wiley denied dropping him and said it was a "controlled manoeuvre" lowering him to the ground

"They started taking me through the door and the next thing I knew I was on my back. I thought 'what the hell'," he said.

"If it was not for my son they would have never got me up."

Wayne Spedding, operations director at E-zec Medical Transport, which sub-contracted Lifestar Medical Ltd for the job, said Mr Wiley was not dropped.

"If staff feel continuing a manoeuvre may become unstable they gradually lower to the ground and reposition," he said.

"I understand it may feel like he has been dropped, and that it may have been a bit of a shock, but it was a controlled manoeuvre."

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