Mrs Carol Bailey of Penarth before her fall - and her long wait for an ambulance.

Mrs Carol Bailey of Penarth (the former opera-singer Carol Barlow-Davies) before her fall – and her long wait for an ambulance.

A well-known former opera singer has had to endure an agonising  a two-and-a-half hour wait for an ambulance after falling and breaking an arm on  Windsor Terrace, Penarth.

The casualty was Penarth resident Mrs Carol Bailey, a retired opera singer better known to her fans under her stage name of Carol Barlow-Davies. Mrs Bailey sang with the Welsh National Opera for 9 years and with the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam for 25 years. She was married in St Augustine’s Church Penarth  last summer.

First responders Nia Hood and Estell Mitchell try to keep Mrs Bailey warm in Tuesday's freezing temperatures as they wait 150 minutes for an ambulance to arrive

First responders Nia Hood and Estell Mitchell try to keep Mrs Bailey warm in Tuesday’s freezing temperatures as they wait two and  a half hours for an ambulance to arrive

Mrs Bailey had been  walking home on Tuesday this week when she slipped and fell on the uneven pavement opposite Mint and Mustard in Windsor Terrace –  severely bruising her hip and leg and breaking her arm.

An ambulance was called as soon as the accident happened . Two “first responders” Nia Hood and Estell Mitchell kept Mrs Bailey supplied with  towels, a hot water bottle and a rug to keep her warm in freezing temperatures whilst she waited … and waited.

Eventually – an hour later  – a paramedic turned up from South Wales Fire and Rescue in Cardiff – and helped relieve Miss Bailey’s considerable pain with gas and air mixture but didn’t want to take her to the nearest Emergency Unit [at the Heath Hospital] on his own because of the risk of further injury.

It was a full  two and a half hours after the first call when the long-awaited ambulance finally did arrive. The crew apologised to Mrs Bailey and said the delay had been caused by difficulties “off loading  other passengers”.

Mrs Bailey says “My partner could have taken me to an emergency room within 30 minutes of the fall but the ambulance told us they were on their way.’”. She said It was absolutely freezing and the pain was unbearable”.

Whilst she waited – sitting on the pavement in agony – there had been further phone calls to the NHS to little avail.  Mrs Bailey says “We phoned again – and again –  to enquire about the estimated time of arrival”  but were assured every time the ambulance was en route .

Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething is Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth

Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething is Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth

It’s just seven months since the Welsh Labour Government and its Deputy Minister for Health – Penarth resident Vaughan Gething – dropped target response times for ambulances in Wales.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar, says: “Wales has amongst the worst response times in Britain ” . “It is Labour’s mismanagement of our NHS that’s led to this shameful failure in performance “

Meanwhile the Labour-controlled Vale of Glamorgan Council’s management of pavements and street infrastructure is also coming under scrutiny .

Windsor Terrace  casualty Mrs Bailey says a local resident Steven Garret (45), who lives nearby,  has confirmed that  several  members of the public have suffered falls  outside his home in the past month.  One victim was Mr Garret’s own wife Sue –  who  suffered a broken wrist.

Mr Garret has now directly contacted the Vale of Glamorgan Council to lodge an official complaint.  Despite the spate of injuries at the same spot however,  the council is said to have claimed that the  pavement “meets requirements of protocol” and proposes to take no further action.

Former opera-star Carol Bailey was discharged on Wednesday after spending the night in hospital. She says “I had broken my arm and had severe bruising on my hip and leg. The pain is bearable but the shock of the whole ordeal is only just wearing off.’

Mrs Bailey says “The ambulance service is shocking. Waiting for two-and-a-half hours is simply unacceptable.”

UPDATE: South Wales Fire and Rescue crew from Penarth Fire Station rendered first aid to another pavement casualty late this afternoon when  an elderly man collapsed and fell face-down near the fire station just before 17:00 hours.

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  1. EH says:

    Recently happened to an elderly neighbour. Collapsed at home. Couldn’t get up off the floor and in too much pain to be moved. 2.5 hrs wait as “not urgent”. Just so everybody knows, it seems that’s how it is now…

    • Philip Rapier says:

      At 16.45 p.m yesterday evening I received one of those phone calls we dread.
      “Is that Philip?”
      “Can you come at once to the Westbourne School Crossroads your father in law (82) has had a fall” “Don’t worry he is in good hands I’m a Doctor and amazingly another Doctor is with him now we both just happened to be walking by”
      I arrived to find at least 4 other people comforting him tenderly on the pavement in the freezing cold. The ambulance took 40 minutes in the meantime again similarly a Paramed from Penarth Fire Station came and looked after him with thermal blankets. A Community Police Officer also was on hand to ensure public safety at the difficult road junction. By 17.50 after thorough checks by the Ambulance Service my Father in Law was on the way to UCW Heath Hospital A and E Department. I was overwhelmed by the help he received from the residents and professionals alike. The story at the Heath was exactly the same, the A and E staff were highly diligent and made regular check ups in the inevitable waiting period between initial and final assessment. Especially attentive and respectful, was the hardworking “Junior Doctor”. We were very lucky and my wife and I give our heartfelt thanks to everyone of the Emergency Service professionals and caring Penarthians for the wonderful skill and humanity shown to her father.
      Equally we are sincerely and deeply regretful that Mrs. Bailey suffered in the way she did and trust she continues to recover well and that her dreadful experience will be thoroughly investigated by all the relevant Authorities.

      • Jim E says:

        You were very lucky eh? They probably knew you are a Labour Party Penarth Town Councillor and decide to prioritise it.

      • Lindsay says:

        Thank you for the positive post Mr Rapier. Predictably, the usual suspects have sought to gain political advantage.

      • Adrian says:

        And just as predictably, Lindsay, you have weighed in, seeking to claw back your so-called ‘political advantage’. Pot, kettle…

      • Lindsay says:

        How many more times? It’s called fairness and balance Adrian

      • Dafydd says:

        Pardon me, Lindsay, I thought this was an arena for people to express opinions, not an opportunity for you, as a self-appointed arbiter, to hold forth about “fairness and balance”(which, coincidentally always seems, in your case, to be skewed a certain political way, and therefore is not my definition of “fairness and balance”). In any event, since when were you given the authority to referee this site as an “independent” superior intellect? How many more times?

      • Lindsay says:

        Yes Dafydd, an arena for people to express opinions. I guess that must include me as well. Thank you for associating me with “superior intelligence”. You are too kind, it’s undeserved and there are several people on here who are more worthy.

      • Jeff says:

        If only the modesty you affect was not cojoined with sarcasm, Lindsay, I do believe that would be your first positive comment towards your fellow opinion-givers. I can’t imagine Dafydd didn’t intend sarcasm either, mind.

      • Lindsay says:

        Dafydd can speak for himself – unless he already has

      • Dafydd says:

        You are, on this occasion, correct, Lindsay – like you, I certainly don’t need anyone to speak on my behalf, though Jeff is clearly no fool and is correct in his intimation that my comment was made (heavy) with sarcasm. I’ve never subscribed to the notion that ‘sarcasm is the lowest form of wit’, preferring to view it as the tool of those with ‘superior intelligence’.

    • The Town Fryer says:

      Nice one Phil, keep the pro-Labour fire side talks coming.
      Is there is an election on the way!

      PS You forgot to mention the pavements
      Will this be in one of your little chats soon?

    • Mr T Gould says:

      You got everything from prompt Ambulance times, good A&E medical staff, including Junior Doctors at the weekend!!! I am surprised you have not included how well the young people have been educated under the Labour WAG controlled schooling systems.

      Maybe as other have said you were just lucky or can pull strings, because it is not my and many others experiences of late.
      If you are going to do these party election broadcasts on here, remember we are not all that stupid.

  2. The Town Fryer says:

    Shocking and truly disgusting.

    I’m sure we will have some WAG spokesperson saying, hard luck its the same in England.
    This is the same lots that’s says we can cope will more migrants, when we can’t even look after are own.

  3. Miss R says:

    This brings back memories!
    Two summers ago I myself waited 2 1/2 hours for an ambulance whilst in a freezing cold paddling pool with my ankle snapped in half and completely dislocated the wrong way around.
    I literally cried, begged, screamed and threatened to sue them whilst my neighbours rang and rang and rang.
    It was so traumatic, I still have nightmares about it now, the pain, and thinking it would never end.
    I am scared stiff my kids might one day need an ambulance and it might happen to them.

  4. Gareth says:

    Yet there’s millions going on signs in Welsh. The way things are going, you’ve got to wonder what’s going to happen to Wales.

    • Willy Wonka says:

      Perhaps if he had dialled 999 and spoken in Welsh. Would have got a Welsh Language branded abwilans in no time at all i’m sure, more it the pity.

Comments are closed.