Husband's anger as wife dies after waiting more than 16 hours for ambulance in Hull

A devastated husband has told Sky News his wife died after waiting more than 16 hours for an ambulance to come to her aid.

Teresa Simpson died at Hull Royal Infirmary in November after suffering a cardiac arrest and lack of oxygen to the brain.

The 54-year-old, who suffered from diabetes and a muscle-wasting disease, had fallen ill at her home in Hull. Her husband Matthew had pulled an emergency lifeline cord when she became confused and the couple spoke to an ambulance crew on the phone.

But it was only after he made a further 999 call when his wife appeared "lifeless" that an ambulance arrived.

"Sixteen hours and 45 minutes I had to wait and they only came because I had to ring them back and say she was lifeless," he told Sky News.

"One hundred per cent I believe that if they got to my wife in six hours she would still be here now because she would have got help."

Mr Simpson said he remained "angry" with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

In a statement it offered him sincere condolences: "Our patient relations team has received correspondence from him raising concerns about our response to this incident. They will liaise directly with Mr Simpson about specific details relating to this."

The story of Mrs Simpson has emerged as health officials have warned that as many as 500 people a week are dying as a result of delays in emergency care.

NHS England has said it does not recognise those figures and that a combination of factors could be responsible for an increase in mortality figures.

But ambulance delays, gridlock at accident and emergency units, staff shortages and ongoing industrial unrest have stretched a health service facing winter pressures.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We recognise the pressures the NHS is facing following the impact of the pandemic and are working tirelessly to ensure people get the care they need, backed by up to £14.1bn additional funding for health and social care over the next two years."

But Mr Simpson says the public should be aware of stories like that of his wife and what he says is a system in crisis.

"People shouldn't be dying. No way. 16 hours, 22 hours, all these stories you hear of people waiting for ambulances. It is wrong. It wasn't like this 20 or 30 years ago."

Instead of planning for the couple's 25th wedding anniversary later this year, he will this week receive his wife's ashes following her cremation.

"She was my best friend, my soul mate. She was very supportive and loving. She was in a wheelchair, yes, but she never once moaned about her illness," Mr Simpson continued.

"We both knew we were on borrowed time because of her myotonic dystrophy. But there is no way she should've been left to die the way she did."