Injured pensioner forced to wait on freezing street for an ambulance for two hours after slipping on cobbles
A STRICKEN pensioner was forced to wait on the ground in the freezing cold for over two hours for an ambulance after she fell on a cobbled street.
The 64-year-old came a cropper shortly after 11am, but it wasn’t until 1.40pm that paramedics reached the scene in the town centre of Darlington, Co. Durham.
Staff from the nearby Cancer Research UK charity shop, some of whom were in fancy dress for World Cancer Day, wrapped the lady in duvets, coats and blankets to protect her from the cold as concerned shoppers passed either side.
The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has apologised for the delay in treating the woman who is understood to have suffered dislocations and fractures to her elbow and wrist.
One woman who went to her aid said it was “absolutely disgusting” that the woman had been forced to wait so long for medical assistance.
She added: “She could not be moved as she was in so much pain.
“For a lady with a possible broken limb to be laid on a cold pavement for hours is disgusting, it’s so sad that she had to stay there all of that time, I felt so sorry for her.
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“I think it’s probably down to cuts – you cannot blame the paramedics or those in the control room, I think it’s just a sign of the times.
“I hope something comes of this so that it does not happen again.”
A spokeswoman for NEAS said: “We would like to apologise to this patient for the delay she experienced and for any distress this caused.
“Unfortunately at the time of the call we were dealing with exceptionally high demand for our service.
“We must always prioritise emergency ambulances in order of need, starting with those whose lives are most immediately at risk.
“This can often mean that ambulances are diverted away from a patient to someone in a more serious condition.
“We encourage all patients who are unhappy with the service they have received to contact our Patient Experience Team to enable us to explain the circumstances around the delay and see if any lessons can be learned from the incident.”
The woman's ordeal comes as The Sun told how a 75-year-old father of three who fell and broke his hip was left lying in a puddle in the pouring rain for nearly four hourse before an ambulance turned up.
Dennis Welchman tripped over while getting out of a car just yards from his daughter's house in Cheddar, Somerset.
A similar agonising wait faced a 94-year-old actor who starred in Four Weddings and a Funeral after he fell on his bathroom floor.
Rupert Webb was stuck between the bath and toilet at his home in Rottingdean, East Sussex but paramedics deemed him a low priority and he was left lying distressed and in pain.
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