Complaint lodged with ambulance service after 87-year-old Wirral woman waited three hours for paramedics (From Wirral Globe)
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Complaint lodged with ambulance service after 87-year-old Wirral woman waited three hours for paramedics
10:23am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A COMPLAINT has been lodged with North West Ambulance Service after an 87-year-old woman suffered a broken leg in a fall at home and was left waiting more than three hours for paramedics to attend.
The complaint has been made by the victim’s friend Pauline Cook, from Oxton, who rushed to the aid of the elderly woman on Tuesday evening.
On arrival, Mrs Cook immediately dialled 999 but was told it could be up to an hour before paramedics arrived.
In the event, it took more than three hours for medics to get to the scene.
Mrs Cook, 63, has now lodged an official complaint with North West Ambulance Service and argues the system needs an overhaul so patients are not left waiting for urgent care.
She said: “My friend had fallen down stairs, banging her head and hurting her arm and leg, but managed to drag herself to the telephone to call me.
“I went straight round there and called for an ambulance, assuming this was an emergency.
“The operator told me to keep her comfortable but that an ambulance could be up to an hour.
"I was surprised it would be that long - but four phone calls and three hours later, a paramedic eventually showed up followed by an ambulance ten minutes after.
“I couldn’t believe how long it had taken. I was just told that the matter wasn’t “life-threatening” – how did they know that?
“She had banged her head and needed to be treated.”
The victim, whom the Globe is not naming, was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital where it was discovered she had broken her femur in several places.
Mrs Cook is calling for a shake-up to the system: “I understand calls need to be prioritised and that there are not enough staff and ambulances to rush to everyone’s aid but three hours seems extreme.
“The system needs to be seriously looked at and changes need to be made.”
A spokeswoman for North West Ambulance Service said 999 calls are assessed to give priority to the most critically ill, but was unable to comment further as an official complaint has been made.
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