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A 47 YEAR OLD landscape gardener who suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage says he felt “abandoned” when the London Ambulance Service said it would send a private hire vehicle as there were no ambulances available.

But Anthony Augustin was forced to rely on his wife to take him to hospital when the minicab did not turn up.

He spent three weeks in hospital after life-saving surgery and doctors told him that he was lucky to survive.

Mr Augustin has since complained about the service he received and comes shortly after figures revealed in last month’s PHC showed that 5,720 Londoners were taken by cab to local hospitals in the last 18 months. The father-of-two from Stratford, East London, said: “They abandoned and neglected me. I told the telephonist it was an unbearable pain in the head, something I have never felt before.

“The doctors told me I was a strong guy to have come through it because it could have killed me.”

Mr Augustin suffered a splitting headache while playing pool in a local pub and went home, where he started to vomit continuously.

His 44 year old wife Jennifer rang 999 and was told that a private hire vehicle would arrive in 20 minutes because there were no ambulances available.

Mrs Augustin drove her husband to a hospital when the cab did not show up and he made a full recovery after he was operated on at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said: “As Mr Augustin was not in an immediate life-threatening condition, a clinician called the patient back after twenty four minutes to advise of a delay as, at the time, we were extremely  busy.”

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PHC Magazine

PHC Magazine