A DUMBARTON pensioner was told he would have to wait over two hours for an ambulance – despite his wife suffering a suspected stroke.

After a suggestion from 999 call handlers to take her himself to the Vale of Leven, the octogenarian was helped by the couple’s daughter to load the victim into her car.

But when the concerned trio arrived at the Vale - as they had been told to - they claim staff there told them they should have gone straight to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, which has a specialist stroke unit.

The victim was then taken immediately by ambulance to Glasgow. Thankfully, it turned out she hadn’t had a stroke on this occasion, but both pensioners, have been left distraught by their treatment.

They have been asked not to be named, but have requested we highlight their case to prevent others suffering the trauma they did.

The husband told the Reporter: “The way we were treated was disgusting.

“When someone has a stroke, all the medical advice is to get them to medics as soon as possible, especially if they have had one before.

“Speed is of the essence, so why were we told to take her ourselves.

“What makes it worse is that we were told to take her to the Vale - who didn’t have the specialist doctors or nurses there to deal with a suspected stroke.

“The delay in getting her seen could have had a catastrophic effect on [my wife].”

The man, 83, continued: “The first nurse we saw at the Vale said ‘I wish they [999 staff] would stop telling patients to come here with complaints like this, as we area minor injuries unit.’ “My wife was rushed straight away to Glasgow by one of two ambulances who were sitting at the Vale, so I don’t understand how we were told it would take two hours to get us one when we dialled 999.”

The drama unfolded at around 8.30pm on December 13, and the woman is making a recovery, but her husband added: “We feel totally disgusted at the way we were treated.

“It was extremely difficult to get [my wife] into the car, but we managed.

“But being told to take her to the wrong place made it so much worse.

“The NHS have to sort it out and should be properly funded by the government.

“We don’t want anyone else to go through what we did.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We appreciate the family of the patient for raising their concerns and we encourage them to get in contact with us so that we can investigate the circumstances of this incident thoroughly.”