A 79-year-old with a broken collarbone was left waiting nearly 90 minutes for an ambulance to take her to hospital.

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Wendy Simpson was injured after tripping in the garden of a 92-year-old she looks after in Maltings Close, Halesworth, but thinks her honesty about the pain prolonged the service’s response last Thursday.

The East of England Ambulance Trust has said there was a delay because it was dealing with a number of incidents elsewhere, although argued that the initial information it received suggested the injuries were not serious.

Mrs Simpson’s initial shouts for help were not heard, so she rang her friend Amorel Lambert, who came to her aid and phoned for an ambulance.

Operators said they were not told of any injuries and gave the call lowest priority.

After an hour with no sign of an ambulance, Mrs Lambert called again to report that Mrs Simpson was now in significant pain and unable to move from where she lay.

The service then upgraded the call and dispatched a vehicle, which was then subsequently diverted.

It led to a further 27-minute delay for Mrs Simpson, who said: “I was being absolutely honest by saying it was not an emergency but the pain got worse.

“I didn’t exaggerate and I think that’s why the ambulance was delayed.”

Mrs Lambert, who stayed at her friend’s side until the ambulance arrived to take her to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, said: “She lay on wet grass, growing cold and paler. It’s unacceptable.”

Both Mrs Simpson and Mrs Lambert claim they waited an hour and 45 minutes for help. The ambulance service meanwhile argues the wait was 87 minutes.

A spokeswoman for the trust: “Initial information given was that this was a non-injury fall and therefore subject to an hour’s response time.

“Calls are prioritised in this way, similar to A&E departments, so those in life-threatening situations can be sure of getting the help they need first.

“There was unfortunately a delay of 27 minutes to our response due to vehicles being diverted to a high volume of life-threatening emergencies during this time and a higher than average number of ambulances facing long hospital handover times.”

7 comments

  • I am surprised that has not been more campaigns like the ' Act On Ambulance ' campaign in N. Norfolk. These cuts are going to make things worse not better.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • On the 19th June,2012 my wife who works for Tesco's on Ipswich Road,in Norwich was taken ill at work at 11am she suffered a nose bleed, pains to the head and chest along with dizziness and blurred vision, a Tesco first aider came to her aid but then decided to call an ambulance, after 2 and a half hours no ambulance had arrived, follow up calls were made and Tesco's were told no ambulances were available and no time could be given, my wife laid in Tesco's all that time, around 1.35pm my wife decided she just wanted to go home and rest, so the ambulance was cancelled so I helped her to our car in the car park, we were told a day later,whilst we were going to the car from a different direction 2 paramedics entered the store only to be challenged by a member of staff thinking they were they to treat my wife, the paramedics said no we are here to get some lunch, we have made a complaint to the East Of England Ambulance Service with no reply from them, although they said a reply would be made within 25 days, it has now been 59 days and counting.. absolutely disgusting, one way or another I will get an answer from them.

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • The principle the system is based on is not too send an ambulance if at all possible . If you`re a person that doesn`t make a fuss , you can lay on the ground until the cows come home . It`s all to do with saving money .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Saturday, August 18, 2012

  • Do not worry. All will be well. cameron has made a promise. NHS is safe in his hands.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • google "norfolk ambulance cuts petition" to call for a rethink.

    Report this comment

    nhs lover

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • Time for the EDP to co ordinate a campaign. I for one would most probably not be here if an ambulance had taken that long when I was taken ill and nor would a friend of mine.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, August 17, 2012

  • I am surprised that has not been more campaigns like the ' Act On Ambulance ' campaign in N. Norfolk. These cuts are going to make things worse not better.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Friday, August 17, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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