Oxfordshire pensioner is left lying on the floor for more than five hours ...

Oxfordshire pensioner is left lying on the floor for more than five hours ...
Oxfordshire pensioner is left lying on the floor for more than five hours ...

A pensioner who collapsed was left lying on the floor waiting for an ambulance for five hours because local call handlers were too busy.

Leon Moody, 72, fell over in his home in Kingham, Oxfordshire, at around 9am on October 5.

His carer immediately called for an ambulance and Mr Moody's son Mark, 35, from nearby Chipping Norton, rushed over. They were too scared to move him in case his injuries got worse.

After about an hour they had heard no word from South Central Ambulance Service, so Mark rang 999 again to check where the vehicle was.

It took five minutes for his call to be answered and the call handler said he had been put through to the Yorkshire branch — located more than 200 miles away — because local services were too busy to answer. 

The ambulance eventually arrived after 2pm, Mr Moody said. 

It comes amid an ambulance crisis across Britain, which has seen severely ill patients left waiting in the back of ambulances outside A&E units for 12 hours.  

Ambulances are supposed to hand patients over to the hospital within 15 minutes of arriving so they can get back on the road– but 35,000 patients waited for more than an hour in September. It has led to concerns that patients are coming to harm, with the queues linked to two deaths last week.

Leon Moody, 72, said he has 'lost faith in the health service' after he fell in his home in Kingham, Oxfordshire, and had to wait more than five hours for an ambulance

Leon Moody, 72, said he has 'lost faith in the health service' after he fell in his home in Kingham, Oxfordshire, and had to wait more than five hours for an ambulance

His son Mark (right) says he was put through to Yorkshire call handlers because the local health service was so busy

His son Mark (right) says he was put through to Yorkshire call handlers because the local health service was so busy

Ambulance service facing extreme pressures and overwhelming volume of calls 

An ambulance service has declared a critical incident in the face of 'extreme pressures' and an 'overwhelming' volume of calls.

South Central Ambulance Service pleaded with the public to be wise when considering whether to call, reminding people they are to be contacted in the event of life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

The declaration of a critical incident comes not long after hospitals in England were ordered to 'eliminate' ambulance queues outside their sites after two deaths were linked to handover delays.

NHS bosses highlighted the 'risk to patient safety' in the letter which told trusts to end all handover delays and stop using ambulances as emergency department 'cubicles'.

South Central Ambulance Service covers the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, Sussex and Surrey.

On Saturday evening, the service tweeted: 'South Central Ambulance Service has declared a Critical Incident due to extreme pressures across our services. 

'Our staff and volunteers are working extremely hard to respond to calls but the volume is overwhelming.

'Please, please support us by using our services wisely, we're here for life threatening illnesses and injuries. Thank you so much #HelpUsHelpYou.'

Earlier this week, ambulance leaders have described the 'highest level of emergency activity in history' and reports from around the country paint a bleak picture of ambulances queuing for hours outside busy hospitals.

Martin Flaherty, managing director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, said: 'The ambulance sector is experiencing some of the highest levels of emergency activity in its history and this is regrettably leading to delays in the sector's ability to respond to some patients.'

According to the NHS, a critical incident is any localised incident where the level of disruption results in an organisation temporarily or permanently losing its ability to deliver critical services, patients may have been harmed or

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