A WEE COUNTY woman has been given apology after she was left to wait more than six hours for an ambulance last month.

Katherine Johnston became unwell at her Alva home at the end of last month and received a visit from her doctor who, after three falls in her home, recommended Katherine be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

However, the ambulance took six-and-a-half hours to attend with the 77-year-old raising concerns about the ordeal.

During the wait, Mrs Johnston became anxious and wants to avoid anyone else having to wait so long for transport.

She told the Advertiser: "I was lying in my bed when my daughter came in because I was so dizzy I couldn't stand. My daughter [a health professional] took my blood pressure then phoned the doctor about 5.45pm.

"He was up within half an hour and he said he wasn't happy so was phoning an ambulance.

"The paramedics phoned three times to ask if my condition was the same and said if there are any issues then phone 999."

Though Mrs Johnston conceded that paramedics may have had more urgent calls to attend to, she was left upset by the wait.

She said: "I was feeling frustrated, but when I was lying down I felt okay.

"Then I would think: 'It can't be much longer' because the doctor told me it could be a four-hour wait, but should only be around two hours."

When the ambulance finally arrived at around midnight, the ordeal didn't end there.

She was admitted to hospital for two days before being sent home at 5.30am on her own to an empty house.

Mrs Johnston said this was a huge worry given the problems she had there in the lead-up to the incident.

After two days of tests, she was awoken at around 2am on August 1 and taken to a clinical assessment room where a doctor gave her final examinations and said she could then go home, which she agreed to.

She continued: "I pressed the buzzer to go to the toilet and when I came back there were two nurses in the room and they said they were helping to pack because I was being moved.

"I went down and put in a clinical assessment room. I got various tests and the last blood test was the doctor himself and he said if this is clear then you can go home.

"I then fell asleep for an hour then felt a shake from the doctor who said the tests were back and everything was clear; would you like to go home? I said yes and he organised everything, but I didn't know what time it was."

Mrs Johnston was then put in a taxi home at 5.30am, much to the annoyance of her daughter who had instructed the hospital to phone her if her mother was being discharged so she could collect her.

Despite her worrying ordeal, the Alva woman remained highly complimentary of every member of staff who dealt with her,.

However, she added: "I just wish there would be a little more compassion and common decency than sending someone to an empty house at that time in the morning."

The Scottish Ambulance Service have since apologised for the delay and vowed to investigate the matter.

A spokesperson said: "No one should have to experience an unnecessary delay when they are waiting for an ambulance.

"We will be looking into this matter thoroughly and will contact this patient directly to apologise and to discuss the circumstances surrounding this delay."

The Advertiser understands Mrs Johnston has now been contacted by them, but declined to take the issue any further.

An NHS Forth Valley statement read: "Most patients are discharged during the day; however, occasionally, particularly in our assessment and short stay units, patients may be discharged at other times if they have completed their treatment and have been assessed by a doctor as being well enough to go home.

"Doctors would normally ask patients if they are happy to be discharged. If a patient has any concerns about their proposed discharge time then staff would work with them to try to make alternative arrangements."