Ambulance delays ‘almost killed her’

Susan and Marilyn Holmes. Photo by John Crossland.
Susan and Marilyn Holmes. Photo by John Crossland.

A MOTHER has hit out at the ambulance service after it took nearly two hours for its arrival on two separate occasions.

Marilyn Holmes, 61, of Bonthorpe near Willoughby, said she telephoned the East Midlands Ambulance Service for the first time on Friday, September 23 at 5.15pm and she claims, it didn’t arrive until 7.15pm to treat her daughter Susan.

“She was bleeding and we were later taken to Boston Pilgrim Hospital where she was treated in A&E,” said Marilyn.

Despite eventually being taken to hospital, Marilyn says she heard one of the drivers of vehicle say that they didn’t want to take the ambulance back to the depot because they believed that there was something wrong with the breaks.

“We’d been driven all the way from around Willoughby to Boston with faulty breaks and had to wait two hours for its arrival,” added Marilyn.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “Our vehicles are maintained to very high standards, mechanical faults can occur without notice which seems to be the case in this instance.

“We would like to confirm that we deploy ambulances on a dynamic basis so that more are available at times when we expect 999 call levels to peak and are located in the areas where help is most likely to be needed.”

The second time Marilyn called an ambulance on Tuesday, September 27 at 7pm she states it didn’t arrive until 9pm.

Marilyn said: “My daughter was bleeding and passing out... I really thought I was going to loose her.

“I’ve heard, but I’m not sure if it’s hear-say, that there used to be an emergency vehicle up at Ulceby Cross but I’m not sure about that.

“As when my father needed an ambulance three years ago it didn’t seem to take half as long.”

The EMAS added: “Based on historic activity trends, we have not used Ulceby Cross as a stand-by point for several years.

“We regret that we were unable to respond to the calls as quickly as normal and we would like to apologise for the inconvenience and distress this caused. On both occasions, this was due to us being under significant pressure which meant that our resources were all occupied on other life-threatening calls.”

Marilyn claims that she will be writing to MP Sir Peter Tapsell about the issue as she feels that her daughter ‘could have lost her life’.

Susan, 34, needed a blood transfusion and then an operation after her arrival at Boston Pilgrim on September 27.

She is now recovering at home but her mother Marilyn feels she could have been dead if it had taken any longer for the ambulance to arrive.