A HAMPSHIRE man was twice taken the wrong way to hospital by ambulance crews, due to faulty sat navs.

Leslie Palmer, 79, endured a 45-minute trips both times when it should only have taken 20 minutes.

But separate ambulance crews in separate vehicles told his wife of 55 years, Jean, that they had to use sat nav as that was the rule.

Mr Palmer was taken from his home in Bishop's Waltham with an infection on June 3, with Mrs Palmer, 77, accompanying him to go to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, 11 miles away.

Mrs Palmer explained that the first time she knew something was wrong was when the driver said they were in Charles Watts Way, Hedge End - the opposite direction - and now 19 miles away from the hospital.

''I heard the man inside tell the driver 'get on the motorway' but it was much longer than it should have been,'' she explained.

Mrs Palmer, a retired nanny, said that an ambulance was again called for her retired banker husband on the evening of June 5 and again the ambulance set off on a bizarre route at 6.50pm.

''We were soon going through lanes I had never seen before. We were on little roads no bigger than the ambulance and my husband's head was shaking around and we thought we were going to end up in a farm yard at any minute."

Mrs Palmer said that the ambulance eventually popped up out of the lanes at Fishers Pond at 7.30pm but still five miles from the hospital.

''Luckily my husband was not seriously ill, but I am concerned that if he had been more serious the delay could have made it much worse.

''It's an utter nonsense. Taxi drivers have to know the roads, why can't the ambulance driver know the roads - I cannot believe it.''

An ambulance spokeswoman said staff had the use of satellite navigation systems to travel to all locations and crews did have the option to override the system if they were familiar with the route.

She said the service covered a vast area and that some crews would have to use the system if they didn't know the area.

''It is likely that there was an anomaly with the settings (of the sat nav) which has been checked. We would like to confirm that this is an unusual occurrence and would like to reassure the public that we will do everything we can to avoid a similar occurrence.''