Delays spark fresh ambulance call

FRESH calls for a dedicated Lincolnshire ambulance service have been made by patients who suffered delayed responses under the current system, which councillors fear is failing.

Following last week’s Standard story about a 78-year-old Skegness man, left ‘shivering and shaking’ on the cold pavement for 90 minutes after a painful fall, more victims of ambulance delays have come forward.

Sonia Weightman said it was the ‘worst thing a mother could imagine’ when her 20-year-old son was left lying on the roadside for 45 minutes with ‘life threatening injuries’ after a motorcycle accident.

She said: “The length of time they took for such serious injuries was appalling.

“They always say that it’s because we live in a rural area - ‘well deal with it’ is what I would say to them.”

“When you’re fighting for your life, every minute is vital and if the weather had been any worse, we would have lost him, there’s no two ways about it.”

Sonia’s son Tom Wood was riding between Hogsthorpe and Mumby, not far from the family’s Ingoldmells home, on the evening of July 23, when he collided head-on with another vehicle.

Tom suffered multiple broken bones and a punctured lung during the crash but it took 45 minutes before paramedics arrived on the scene.

Hearing of the accident Sonia rushed to be with her injured son and was there within minutes while they both waited for the emergency response.

“Waiting there with him was the worst thing a mother could imagine, it’s almost impossible to say how it felt,” Sonia said.

When the paramedics finally arrived, Sonia said they were ‘absolutely brilliant’ as they spent around an hour stabilising Tom before taking him to A&E.

Tom’s injuries were so severe that even today he is unable to walk unassisted and requires ongoing hydrotherapy treatment at Boston Pilgrim.

Sonia fears he will never be able to return to the agricultural labouring job he worked at before the accident.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery and we still don’t know what long term problems he might face,” she said.

Lincolnshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee has made repeated calls for an improvement to East Midlands Ambulance Service’s Lincolnshire response times or a return to a dedicated service for the county.

Coun Colin Davie believes the recent horror stories of service delays indicate the service’s failure to improve.

“We need the return of a Lincolnshire Ambulance Service for Lincolnshire people that is accountable to the people of Lincolnshire - I pledge to fight for that service until it is delivered.”