A MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferer said she was left waiting for more than five hours for an ambulance at York Hospital following a routine visit.

Michaela Dykes, whose condition means she requires the use of a wheelchair and needs regular fluid intake, said her appointment lasted until 2pm, but she did not arrive home in Haxby until just before 8pm that night.

Miss Dykes, 30, said: “I went down to the reception to let them know I was ready to go home. They took me down to the main entrance to get my transport but nothing happened. I didn’t get home until 7.45pm. The ambulance turned up at 7.15pm, but we then had to go to Acomb to drop someone else off.

“It was very tiring because I have a catheter and was getting no fluids or anything.”

She said since her diagnosis three years ago, she was now unable to use taxis because she required a standing hoist to get in.

“I used to be able to into a car but I have had so many relapses I just can’t do it anymore,” she said.

“It was annoying because I couldn’t do what I do at home and get myself comfortable.

She said no hospital staff approached her during her wait and said she had tried to go to reception but found it either empty or nobody there was able to help.

Her mother, Linda Dykes, said: “When I got her home she had to have three litres of fluid before her carers arrived. If she doesn’t have that she risks infection.”

Mrs Dykes said she had complained to Yorkshire Ambulance Service and had been told that one ambulance had broken down and traffic had been particularly bad on Monday last week, when the problems occurred.

Diane Williams, assistant director of Patient Transport Service at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, offered her sincere apologies to Michaela and said necessary steps would be taken to avoid a similar situation in the future in the future.

She said: “A relative of the patient contacted the Trust last week about this matter and we have explained to them the reasons for the delay on this occasion.

“We can confirm that Ms Dykes was transported to and from her hospital appointment this Monday without delay and we will continue to monitor her transport arrangements closely.

“The Trust is committed to providing high-quality non-emergency transport to patients across the region and we are working in partnership with York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to develop our service to ensure that problems don’t occur.

“We are also working closely with our Local Involvement Networks (LINks) to make improvements to our service including ensuring arrangements are always in place to look after the welfare of patients when unavoidable delays arise.”