AN AMMANFORD pensioner claims he was forced to endure a 90-minute wait for an ambulance after his wife collapsed at home.

Angry Ron Phillips said when an ambulance – which the ambulance service says took 73 minutes – did arrive he was shocked to find it had travelled all the way from Llandovery.

“My grandson found out there were two ambulances standing idle right here in Ammanford, Mr Phillips, 78, told the Guardian. “I just cannot understand how this bloody country is ticking over – I’m fed up to the teeth with it.”

The couple’s ordeal began when Ron’s wife Marlene became ill at their home at Cennen Cottage, Iscennen Road. “I dialled 999 after she collapsed in my arms,” he said.

After half-an-hour had elapsed, Mr Phillips ran outside to flag down a passenger car, thinking it contained paramedics only to find it was a police car.

“They went on their radio and so I waited again. Marlene was conscious on and off but in tremendous pain – and by this time I was going up the wall.

“Imagine if Marlene had suffered a heart attack?”

Mrs Phillips, who is understood to have suffered a thrombosis, was eventually taken to Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Ambulance Service said the ambulance had arrived in one hour, 13 minutes.

Rob Jeffery, the trust’s head of service for Hywel Dda health board area, said: “Shortly after 7.30pm on Sunday, March 30, we were called to reports an elderly woman had taken ill at her home in Ammanford.

“This call was assessed as serious but not immediately life-threatening, which requires a re - sponse within 30 minutes.

“An ambulance was dispatched but while en route was diverted to an immediately life-threatening call. A second ambulance was dispatched at once, and following the arrival of the crew the patient was conveyed to hospital.

“We are concerned that there was a delay to this call and would invite the patient or her family to contact us directly if they wish to discuss the case in more detail."