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Grandad, 76, forced to wait 18 hours after dialling 999 suffering a heart attack

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A GRANDAD waited a shocking 18 hours for heart attack treatment as an expert warns NHS managers’ obsession with budgets and targets endangers patients.

Glynn Evans, 76, suffered chest pain on a family holiday to Cornwall in April 2022.

Glynn Evans survived his heart attack but believes his health is worse because of the ambulance delay

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Glynn Evans survived his heart attack but believes his health is worse because of the ambulance delayCredit: PA

Wife Lyn phoned 999 at 8pm but an ambulance did not arrive until the next morning and a queue outside the hospital meant he was not seen in A&E until 2pm.

Retired teacher, Glynn, from Bourne, Lincolnshire, survived but now has heart failure.

He said: “The doctor who treated me was furious that I had to wait so long.

“I’m not sure my heart failure would be quite as bad if it hadn’t taken so long to treat me. 

Read more on the NHS crisis

“There’s nothing that anyone can do about it now but I don’t want anyone else to have to wait that long and miss out on the best treatment.”

We’re in the worst heart care crisis this country has ever faced

Dr Charmaine GriffithsBritish Heart Foundation CEO

Glynn is now backing the British Heart Foundation’s campaign for ministers to commit to fix a crisis in heart disease care.

Delays to emergency treatment raise the risk of disability and death and ambulance response times have been off target for years.

In addition the waiting list for planned heart treatment has doubled in the past four years to nearly 420,000 people, the BHF said.

CEO Dr Charmaine Griffiths said: “Glynn’s story makes it clear that we’re in the worst heart care crisis the country has ever faced.

“Long waits for heart care put lives on the line.”

NHS in Crisis: ‘National Emergency’ Declared

A spokesperson for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly NHS board said: “We are sorry that we were unable to provide Mr Evans a timely response in 2022. 

“Any occasion where the care we provide falls below the high standards our patients deserve and rightly expect is unacceptable.

“Our response times have recovered to a more stable position, compared to 2022, but there is still more to do.”

NHS managers ‘focus on cash not safety’

It comes as England’s patient safety commissioner, Dr Henrietta Hughes, blasted NHS management for being too focused on pinching pennies and hitting targets.

Former GP and NHS medical director Dr Hughes said patient safety takes a backseat to corporate demands.

She told the British Medical Journal many people are “gaslighted, dismissed and fobbed off” when things go wrong.

Dr Hughes said: “The NHS’s relentless focus on finance and productivity is failing patient safety.

“It shows a very dismissive and very old fashioned, patronising attitude to patients who have identified problems and need to have their voices heard.”

BOSSES ‘LOOK AT TARGETS AND BUDGETS, NOT PATIENTS’

Dr Henrietta Hughes was appointed England’s first independent patient safety commissioner in 2022.

She now says management in the health service is overlooking improvements to patient safety in favour of a focus on budgets and performance targets.

Dr Hughes was appointed after a string of scandals including birth defects caused by medicines, and maternity unit failings.

She told the British Medical Journal victims have often been painted as “difficult women” and had their concerns played down.

Dr Hughes said: “It shows a very dismissive and very old fashioned, patronising attitude to patients who have identified problems and need to have their voices heard.

“The relentless focus on productivity, finance, and performance is really missing a huge opportunity to start with patients and start with safety.”

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