Yet more ambulance complaints emerge

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A LITANY of patient complaints about ambulance delays have been raised in response to the health service horror stories published over the preceding fortnight.

Following two weeks of Standard stories about woeful ambulance delays, yet more patients have highlighted their own concerns with the current service.

Skegness resident Christine Cummings, 66, said she was left waiting for more than an hour with a fractured pelvis and gushing head wound after falling from her conservatory roof onto a hard concrete floor in June.

She said: “It’s just not on, anything could have happened to me. The ambulance service seem to take it on themselves to decide what’s a priority case without checking properly.”

Christine was told not to move until the paramedics arrived but having drenched herself during the fall with a bucket of water she had been cleaning with, she became cold during the painful wait, while her husband panicked.

“He was running around getting himself worked up into a state not knowing what to do,” Christine added.

When the paramedics did arrive, Christine, like other patients to have raised complaints, said the treatment and care they provided was first-rate.

However, having also seen her 81-year-old husband Robert be made to wait more than five hours to be transferred by ambulance from Skegness Hospital to Boston Pilgrim, she fears the response times need drastic improvement.

Robert was diagnosed as suffering with pancreatitis when he was eventually seen by medical staff, which can be life-threatening if left untreated,

Christine believes the influx of summer visitors leaves the region under-equipped to deal with the surge of emergency calls it faces during the tourist season.

Her comments followed last week’s story about Timothy Wood, who was left waiting with a punctured lung and multiple broken bones for 45 minutes after a motorbike accident.

Timothy’s mum Sonia Weightman said it was the ‘worst thing a mother can imagine’ to be left waiting for so long and feared she would have lost her son if the delays were any longer.

Incredibly, Sonia and her son claim to have suffered more service delays in the week following her previous complaint. Last Tuesday night Timothy was taken ill as a complication of the pain relief he was taking after his accident, which left him rolling around on the floor in agony for four hours before the ambulance arrived.

Sonia said: “It took five calls, a four hour wait and the threat of death before they sent someone.”

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service expressed their apologies for the delays encountered by Sonia and her family as explained in their first complaint. They also recommend patients give their views as part of EMAS’s Being the Best consultation by visiting www.emas.nhs.uk.