A DAD who rang 999 after his son was "struggling to breathe" claims he was told there were "no ambulances available."

Estate agent Dan Thompson, who lives in Aggborough Crescent, Kidderminster, said there was an "element of panic" when his 15-year-old son Jack had difficulty breathing and pain in his ribcage.

It was in the early hours of Thursday, June 27, when Mr Thompson called West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The 46-year-old said: "As a parent, you always fear the worst.

"It's not like my son to be poorly so this I take seriously. I dialled 999 immediately and gave them the full description - 'child struggling with breathing and pain in chest and rib cage'.

"She said I'm getting an ambulance to you, then immediately said 'There are no available ambulances.'

"She said your nearest A&E is Worcester and can I take him?

"I got him in the car and immediately drove him to Worcester. However what if I couldn't drive, had no car etc?

"Then once at hospital we gave the symptoms to the receptionist who then got a nurse to see us straight away. ECG was done and painkillers administered, however, it took a further five hours to see a doctor.

"When we saw one she was lovely, we had a chest X-ray which showed a chest infection starting and this was the reason for the shortness of breath and pain".

He said his son is now better having been prescribed antibiotics.

He bemoaned the lack of ambulances as well as the fact Kidderminster Hospital doesn't have an A&E, with the closest being 16-miles away at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

He added: "We are in a no man's land. We have a very big hospital here but there's no A & E and obviously a lack of ambulances".

He said he was "lucky" he was able to drive.

"Once you're at hospital, if something were to go wrong, or get worse you're in the correct place, but you need to get there first", he added.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Services highlighted that the service is "under significant pressure."

The spokesperson said: “We can confirm we received a 999 call at 3.49am on 27th June to an address on Aggborough Crescent, Kidderminster.

“Based on the information provided, the call was triaged as a Category 2 call. Due to hospital handover delays, we alerted the caller that it could be ‘several’ hours before we were able to respond. We have taken the difficult decision to let callers know how long it might be before an ambulance becomes available based on feedback from serious incidents, patient feedback and comment from groups such as Healthwatch.

“At 3.56am, we were stood down by the caller as they said they could make their own way to hospital.”