Northern Ireland

Pensioner to receive apology after six-hour ambulance wait

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Media captionJohn McPoland of the NIAS said there was "absolutely no excuse" for the delay

An elderly man in County Down who had to wait almost six hours for an ambulance is to receive a "fulsome and unreserved" personal apology.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) received an emergency call at 22:00 GMT on Monday after the 80-year-old fell in Bangor, injuring his hip.

However, an ambulance did not arrive at the scene until 03:55 GMT on Tuesday.

The NIAS said it would offer the man and his family a "sincere apology" in person and "listen to their concerns".

John McPoland of the NIAS said it had "experienced difficulties in terms of ambulance cover" in north Down, with only one crew operating in the area rather than the usual three.

Exception

But he added that there was "absolutely no excuse" for the man's wait.

"We do not think our performance on this occasions was at all acceptable and we apologise," he said.

"Personally speaking, if this was my father I would be absolutely livid.

"We appreciate [the apology] will be of cold comfort [to the family], given that it was their loved one and also taking into account his age.

"This was an exception to the normal response that we would expect to provide to anyone who calls us.

"Our apology is fulsome and unreserved."