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Attleborough pensioner’s painful three-hour wait in hot sun for ambulance

PUBLISHED: 16:55 27 July 2012 | UPDATED: 17:02 27 July 2012

East of England Ambulance Service.

East of England Ambulance Service.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

A pensioner was left lying in pain in the hot sun for more than three hours while his family waited for an ambulance to arrive.

The daughter of Eric Dunnett spoke of her shock and disappointment after her father was left waiting most of the afternoon after falling from a stepladder in his garden in Attleborough.

The 69-year-old was cutting his hedge on Thursday when he fell at about midday.

His wife, Edith, called 999 and a paramedic in a response car was soon on the scene, but he had to wait from 12.15pm to 3.40pm for an ambulance crew to attend to lift him and get him indoors.

Mr Dunnett suffered suspected bruising to the ribs as a result of the fall at his home in West Carr Road.

His daughter, Sharon Plummer, said that because her father was in so much pain, the paramedic was unable to lift him and had to wait for assistance.

Mr Dunnett was given morphine for the pain and the paramedic waited with him during the hottest part of the day until his colleagues arrived, who decided that he did not have to got to hospital.

Mrs Plummer said: “The fact that he had to lie there for three hours is disappointing and there was no shade. As a parent with two children, I would be distraught if that happened to one of my children. It is a bit shocking, but I guess the paramedic got there straight away and thank goodness he was there.

“I think it shook him up and he was in a lot of pain. He could not speak highly enough of the paramedic in the response car, who kept apologising for the wait.”

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “Unfortunately we were experiencing a high volume of life-threatening calls during this period which had to take precedence, but the time to get back up to the patient was not acceptable and we will be investigating this to pinpoint how we can avoid a similar situation in future. We would urge the family to contact us directly.”

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