Sprowston dad asks why ambulance took so long to get to his injured son
- Credit: Archant
A father has criticised the region's ambulance service after his three-year-old son was left waiting more than 40 minutes for paramedics, following a nasty head injury.
Worried dad Ben Hannant eventually took son Max to hospital just before medics arrived at his house, 44 minutes after the 999 call was made.
National ambulance targets require paramedics to get to families within 30 minutes, and a spokesman for East of England Ambulance apologised for distress caused.
Mr Hannant, of Neville Road, Sprowston, said: 'I know the ambulance service is under a lot of pressure and it's not the paramedics' fault, but my son could have had a serious head injury, so I don't think waiting so long is right.'
The drama started when Max banged his head after a fall while playing with his brother Luca, five, on Sunday.
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Blood 'spouted' out of his head, Mr Hannant said, and they were told an ambulance was on its way.
But the pair were left waiting until Mr Hannant's wife, Tracey, came home from work in their car, after which Mr Hannant drove Max to A&E.
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'He was screaming at first when it happened, but then he started to go quiet and you worry what's happening because he's so young,' Mr Hannant said.
'Luckily, one of my neighbours is a nurse, so I took him around and we put a put a compress on his head, but he was bleeding a lot.'
Mr Hannant praised staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where a clinician used skin-glue to fix the cut.
Mr Hannant added: 'What gets me is that we didn't know how serious the head injury was and how it could affect a three-year-old.'
EEAST last hit the Green 2 target (under which Max's injury was categorised) in Norwich in December 2015. Max has since made a full recovery.
A spokesman for the ambulance trust said: 'Sunday was a busy day with more than 450 emergency calls in Norfolk – 170 of which were life-threatening calls.
'Following the information provided over the phone, the call was triaged as a non life-threatening incident with a target of 'responding within 30 minutes'.
'Calls are coded, according to the symptoms of the patient and information provided by the caller to the emergency call handler, based on answers to their questions.
'An ambulance crew was dispatched at 3.16pm and arrived at 3.27pm, when it was established that the family had made their own way to hospital.
'We would like to apologise to the family for any distress caused and hope the patient is making a strong recovery.'
EEAST boss Robert Morton meets health chiefs at a public meeting on Tuesday, when he addresses the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group over poor response times in that district.
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