THE Dudley Group of hospitals has apologised after a 104-year-old Stourbridge man was left waiting from around 10am to 10pm for a ride home after a brief visit to A&E.
Centenarian Jack Jones, of Short Street, was taken to Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, at around 8am after suffering a minor fall but after a brief check over he was told he would be discharged shortly afterwards.
However - the retired long-distance van driver, who helped build aircraft at Longbridge during WWII, was left waiting in a chair for around 12 hours before an Ambuline service was available to take him home again.
The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has since apologised for the delay and chief executive Paula Clark and said a temporary additional crew would be laid on to cope with increased demand for the service which provides non-emergency transport for patients attending health care facilities.
Mr Jones’s nephew Bob Goode, who lives in Herefordshire, said he was “annoyed” to hear about his uncle’s plight especially as Jack - who still lives in his own home - had wanted to call his regular taxi driver to take him home.
But he said he was pleased to hear the Trust had instigated changes as a result of the incident.
The News investigated after receiving an anonymous letter from a woman visiting the hospital who described how she found a tearful Mr Jones “sitting in a chair, bent over - with a stale cup of tea on a tray which he would not reach”.
She also said her daughter offered to take Mr Jones home but was not allowed.
Trust boss Ms Clark said: “We are extremely sorry Mr Jones experienced such a significant wait for his transport home and apologise for this.
“Current demand and capacity issues have resulted in some unacceptable delays.”
She added: “Following meetings between all parties changes have been instigated including temporary investment in an additional crew.
“With this change and other changes to be introduced in the coming weeks, both the Trust and Ambuline expect patients to see an improvement in the service performance.”