Great-grandmother in two-hour wait after fall at her Norwich home
10:00 27 August 2012
Archant © 2012
A great-grandmother has told how she was left lying with her leg twisted underneath her for two hours as she waited for help from the ambulance service after a fall.
Elva Carver fell in the narrow hallway of her Vauxhall Street home on a Sunday evening at 7.30pm.
Thankfully, the 83-year-old’s carer was there at the time, but he was unable to lift her on her own and rang for assistance from the ambulance service at 7.32pm.
Two further calls were made to the East of England Ambulance Service at 8.10pm and 9.13pm, but it wasn’t until 9.18pm that a single-manned ambulance arrived, and even then Mrs Carver had to wait until a paramedic arrived in a rapid response vehicle at 9.34pm so that the two staff could lift and assess her properly.
Mrs Carver said: “My leg was bent under my body, support a lot of my weight, which was very uncomfortable as I have an artificial hip and I was in a lot of pain.
“I didn’t break anything thanks to my carer, who stopped me from falling badly but he was unable to move me because I was in such an awkward position.
“It was a long time to lie on the floor and I only live in the city. If they can’t get to me what chance do people have out in the county sticks?”
Mrs Carver did not need to go to hospital but was seen by an out-of-hours doctor on the day of fall, which was on Sunday, August 19.
A spokeswoman for the ambulance service its triage system, based on the information received, categorised the call as a “Green 2 call”, which the Department of Health has determined should receive an ambulance response within 30 minutes.
A vehicle was dispatched immediately but was diverted once en-route to deal with a life-threatening emergency.
The spokeswoman said: “A vehicle was dispatched as soon as possible but we regret that our response on this occasion was not up to our usual high standards. This was due to a combination of high call volumes being received at that time and a higher than average number of ambulances facing delayed hospital handover times.
“If the patient would like to contact us we would be happy to talk to her directly.”