Leeds woman’s ambulance cost row EXCLUSIVE

TRANSPORT DELAY: Carol Brown, who has Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, at home in Guiseley.
TRANSPORT DELAY: Carol Brown, who has Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, at home in Guiseley.
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Ambulance bosses have refused to reimburse the costs of a disabled woman who was picked up three hours late for a hospital appointment.

Carol Brown decided to take a taxi home after being told hospital transport home would be another two hours.

But ambulance heads say they won’t refund that cost or the extra wages she had to pay her carer because of the long waits.

Mrs Brown, who has Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, had a hospital appointment at Leeds General Infirmary on March 12.

She was told to be ready for a Patient Transport Service ambulance to pick her up at her home in Guiseley at 8am. Mrs Brown’s appointment, concerning a broken leg she suffered earlier this year, was at 9.40am.

But the transport, run by Yorkshire Ambulance Service, did not arrive until 11.30am.

After her appointment, the 65-year-old was told by LGI staff the transport home would be at least an hour, so she and her carer went for refreshments.

She said: “When we went back upstairs, they said it would be at least two hours, so we ordered a taxi which cost £17.”

Following the incident, Mrs Brown submitted a claim for her costs – the taxi, food and the £40 she had to pay her carer for an extra four hours work, totalling £64.

But that claim has now been refused on two occasions.

Diane Williams, Patient Transport Service locality director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We would like to apologise to Mrs Brown for the delay to her transport arrangements on March 12.”

Ms Williams said their Patient Relations Team would contact Mrs Brown.

Mrs Brown also had problems earlier this month (April) when she was not allowed to take her escort in an ambulance to another hospital appointment, though she said she had advised the neurology clinic she would be bringing a carer.

As a result the driver had to take Mrs Brown up several floors to her appointment.

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said their records showed transport with a ramp for an electric wheelchair was booked.

“We would be happy to discuss her needs if she requires an escort for future visits,” he added.

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