Anger after boy, 12, waits more than two hours for ambulance after falling off a swing and landing on his head
11:02 15 July 2014
A 12-year-old boy who fell off a swing and landed on his head had to lie still, in pain, and wait more than two hours for an ambulance.
Young Oliver Hendry’s father Andrew was advised after calling 999 to not move him and feared doing so could lead to paralysis.
The East of England Ambulance Service has admitted the delay was “unacceptable”, apologised and promised to investigate.
The Reepham High School pupil fell off the back of a swing in the playground in Guist Road, Foulsham, near Fakenham, at 7.55pm on Saturday and waited until 10.12pm for an ambulance.
Oliver, who lives in Foulsham, was with his father, mother Sarah and sister Charlotte, 10.
He was checked out by paramedics at the scene who decided he did not need to go to hospital and he returned to school yesterday.
But his family is angry and demanding answers.
Mr Hendry, 40, said: “When we called they asked if he was bleeding, breathing or had broken any bones.
“When I said no, they said they had other more urgent calls to deal with.
“I called once every half hour afterwards to see where they were and kept being told they would be here as soon as possible. I wanted reassurance they were on their way, but they couldn’t give it.
“I couldn’t tell how serious the situation was so surely someone at the end of the phone couldn’t either.
“Fortunately Oliver is okay, but it’s a worrying situation. I know they have limited resources but there comes a time when surely you need to stop cutting and start spending.”
An ambulance service spokesman said: “We apologise for the unacceptable delay and assure Andrew and his family that we are investigating the incident to help understand why it happened and prevent such delays from happening again.
“Andrew has contacted us directly about the incident and we are currently liaising with him to keep him updated with the investigation.
“So far this year we have made job offers to 300 student paramedics, and we continue to recruit in order to increase the numbers of staff available to respond to our patients, as well as putting more ambulances on the road so that we can reduce delays and provide a better service to our patients.”