After falling in his kitchen, a diabetic man aged 92 was forced to wait for an ambulance for nearly 14 hours


Cyril Pepper was an electrician for Western Power. After a stroke six year ago, Pepper became diabetic.

After falling in his kitchen, a diabetic aged 92 spent close to 14 hours waiting for the ambulance.

Cyril Pepper sustained severe back pain after he fell at his home and broke his arm.

Cyril, who was a member of the Western Power electricity board, suffered a stroke six-years ago. He is now diabetic and alerted his friends after he managed to push a care alarm button in his home.

Debbie Austin (59), a carer and friend, arrived at Cyril’s Silverdale, Staffs. home at 3pm, after receiving a Carecall call at 2.25pm.

Debbie found Cyril lying on the floor near his kitchen against a radiator. He was covered in blood from trying to stop the fall.

Cyril was called at 2pm, but the ambulance didn’t arrive until 4am. Debbie was there all the time.

Debbie, a self-employed cleaner said that he was unable eat and had to be helped to the loo while still on the floor.

To stop him choking, she removed his false teeth. Cyril was having trouble swallowing after a stroke so she could not give him painkillers.

Debbie, Silverdale, Staffs said: “He was very upset, I noticed he had a bruise on the back off his head which had started to bulge.

“I believe he was shocked by what had happened.

“I was with Cyril through the entire Carecall and stayed with him throughout to monitor his breathing.

“With his diabetes too, and the damage to the skin he had from his fall, I was concerned. He also has two toes that were infected at the time.

“She was shocked to discover what had happened when the district nurse came back at 4pm. She helped him with his broken arm. She wept.

“The ambulance arrived at 4am the following morning, it shows the resources are really stretched.

“He was hungry for 14 hours and only needed water for a quick bathroom stop.

“I had to help three times to go the toilet.

“Paramedics arrived and said that they were very busy and had to prioritize other patients with breathing problems.

“I chose to look after him because we have become close friends over the years, he has a step grandson who was in Tenerife at the time. His wife died about 30 years ago. Apart from that, he has no other family around.”

After ‘having so much call-outs’, the paramedics arrived on the scene the next morning to apologize to Debbie and Cyril.

Debbie says that Cyril declined to go to the hospital because he is afraid that if he does, he will not come out of it again.

Cyril also hails from Silverdale, Staffs. “As soon as I fell, Debbie arrived five or ten minutes later.

“She was there for me right up to the end.

“She is a friend and a confidante to me. I will always be grateful for the things she did for me.”

“I was annoyed that I had to wait 14 hours for an ambulance, I have worked all my life as building clerk and for the electricity board.

“In so much pain, I was lying on the back. It was terrible.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service said the trust would like to offer its apologies to him “Sorry for the delay in replying”.

A spokesperson for the service stated paramedics in its control room “The patient spoke to the caller multiple times to verify that his condition had not changed.

“Unfortunately, high levels of demand from people with life-threatening conditions sometimes mean we are not able to respond to incidents as quickly as our patients would want.”

The spokesperson stated: “We are working closely with all local health services and NHS England to reduce delays and we continue to bolster frontline and control room staffing as part of a range of measures to help manage the current high levels of demand.”