Patient is stranded for three hours

Mike Barnes
Mike Barnes

PRIVATE ambulance bosses have apologised to a Wigan out-patient left stranded following a hospital appointment for more than THREE hours.

Mike Barnes has slated the “awful” service provided by Arriva Transport Solutions for the regular journeys between his Lowton home and Liverpool Royal 

The firm has held its hands up on the three hour delay, although it claims other allegations of tardiness are unwarranted.

Mr Barnes, of Newton Road, said: “There were three of us waiting to be taken back to Wigan, we called Arriva at about 2pm when the ambulance had not turned up.

“Apparently the message wasn’t put through to the driver until 4pm and we had to wait until more like 5.30pm. It was gone 6.30pm before I got home.

“I’ve never seen a more disorganised service but I’m not blaming the drivers at all.”

The 59-year-old self-employed businessman requires regular physio appointments following a horrific accident earlier this year.

Mr Barnes fell off a ladder while fixing a gutter at the front of a relative’s house, suffering a compound fracture of his leg and a double broken ankle.

He is now house-bound with a series of pins, surgical frames and equipment aiding his recovery.

Despite speaking in glowing terms about his NHS treatment, he has been less than impressed with the privatised non-emergency ambulance service.

He added: “I complained about the three-hour wait and received nothing at first, I had asked to speak to a manager.

“There’s a total lack of organisation, we have to book in 72 hours in advance leaving 90 minutes - plus travel time - lee-way before the appointment and they’re often late.

“Even the hospital staff were saying they had never seen anything like it. We were just sat in the foyer while patients from other areas were ferried off.”

Arriva won the contract to provide non-emergency medical journeys across Greater Manchester in a controversial deal that undercut North West Ambulance Service by £3.5m.

The firm is expected to collect 90 per cent of patients going home within 90 minutes of the scheduled time.

For arrivals at hospital sites, the firm is expected to ensure patients arrive between 45 minutes early and 15 minutes late.