By Rachael Garside
BBC Wales News
People volition dice unless determination is an urgent shake-up of NHS care, a erstwhile exigency medicine manager has said.
Dr Iain Robertson-Steel said ambulance delays and the deficiency of resources was the worst helium had ever seen.
The erstwhile Withybush Hospital director, who lives successful Solva, Pembrokeshire, has taken 2 aged radical to infirmary himself arsenic determination were nary ambulances.
The Welsh Ambulance Service apologised, saying determination had been "well-documented pressures connected our service" recently.
Dr Robertson-Steel said determination was an urgent request to code the crisis: "In agrarian areas with agelong travel times, you person to person an effectual ambulance service, truthful it's important that the numbers shouldn't beryllium reduced.
"If we neglect to present punctual attraction for coronary disease, strokes and sepsis, lives volition beryllium mislaid unless we reorganise.
"It's a stark informing but it's a connection that galore of my objective colleagues and I person been putting retired for immoderate years - there's nary uncertainty that delayed attraction costs lives."
In 1 case, a 94-year-old had fallen successful his home, knocking himself unconscious connected a radiator.
He spent much than 8 hours lying connected the level owed to ambulance delays and was initially helped by Lena Dixon, a unpaid for a societal attraction foundation called Solve Care.
"We are a charity, we trust connected volunteers. We should not person to woody with things that should beryllium done by statutory services," she said.
"People successful this colony should beryllium capable to consciousness that, erstwhile they request support, they should get it and not person to prevarication connected a level for 8 hours."
Ms Dixon said the man, who was precise distressed and successful a batch of pain, was yet treated successful infirmary but remained confused.
"I consciousness that if it happens to me, I conscionable privation to driblet dormant - I don't privation to prevarication connected a level and hold for thing that mightiness not crook up," she added.
Dr Robertson-Steel and his woman Lesley, herself a retired nurse, besides helped 81-year-old Des Page who was suffering terrible thorax pains, but was told it would beryllium astatine slightest a three-hour hold for an ambulance.
Mr Page said helium did not cognize what would person happened without their assistance and thinks radical successful agrarian areas are being forgotten.
"We're fractional an hr distant from the infirmary and you've got to beryllium connected an ambulance - it's frightening. I thought waiting that agelong a clip was ridiculous really.
"I deliberation determination should beryllium much ambulances provided and that the authorities should enactment much wealth into the NHS."
Last week, a study from Health Inspectorate Wales recovered that long delays for ambulances extracurricular hospitals were having a detrimental impact connected the NHS's quality to attraction for patients.
This week, the Army is being drafted successful to help, but Dr Robertson-Steel, who was besides manager of the West Midlands ambulance service, said that was a impermanent measurement and the occupation was not being taken earnestly enough.
"We don't request much meetings, much aviator projects, much reports, we really request an enactment program to present betterment for the NHS and societal care," helium said.
The Welsh Ambulance Service said a reappraisal of resources successful Hywel Dda wellness board, which covers south-west Wales, had been paused successful bid to guarantee the close fig of unit and vehicles could conscionable demand.
Dr Brendan Lloyd, enforcement aesculapian manager astatine the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: "We apologise to each of those patients who person had a mediocre acquisition of our ambulance service, including the 2 patients that Dr Robertson-Steel came to the assistance of.
"Hospital handover delays coupled with unit lack and precocious levels of request for our services person importantly hampered our quality to get to patients quickly."