CONCERNS have been raised after an 88-year-old man fell in the road in Parbold, sustained a head wound, and was left to lie there “for three hours” in the cold and rain waiting for an ambulance which never arrived, and in the end had to taken to hospital in a neighbour’s car.
The incident was raised by Rosie Cooper MP who said she has, “yet again had to express outrage at the appalling service being delivered” by the North West Ambulance Service.
She said her office was contacted about the pensioner’s fall on East Dene at 4.30pm on the evening of Friday, November 5 by worried constituents.
The MP added, “appallingly the gentleman in question had to be triaged by members of the public and a local GP, before being taken to hospital in a neighbour’s car as there was no prospect of an ambulance turning up any time soon.”
Rosie Cooper claimed in a press statement that the pensioner waited three hours. However, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has said they received the initial call at 2.12pm, which was graded as a category three incident. Following a further call at 4.14pm, this was upgraded to a category two incident. NWAS added the ambulance later was cancelled at 4.48pm.
Rosie Cooper MP commented: “I have been complaining for some time about the failures of NWAS, and this is just the latest disaster. When my office tried to raise the alarm to speed things up, the Chief Executive’s office just told us to call 999 again. God knows if an ambulance was ever going to turn up!
“I had to phone the North West Director for NHS England and Improvement, and I am grateful that a local GP was able to help this man. But between that and him being taken to hospital with a nasty head wound by a neighbour, I am left wondering if we are at the bottom of the barrel. Can the “Not Working Ambulance Service” get any worse? It is failing my constituents!
“I have raised this with the Secretary of State for Health as a matter of urgency. I have told the government time and time again that the service needs more resources and manpower.
“We appear to be constantly living in ‘unprecedented times’ and told to expect and forgive poor service. But there is no longer anything unprecedented about this. We have known the service is on its knees for over a year and nothing has been done.
“It is the duty of the Secretary of State and the Government to provide a responsive and reliable service. I hold them equally responsible for this disaster.”
A North West Ambulance Service spokesperson responded: “Our ambulance crews and emergency call handlers are working to ensure that everyone who needs an ambulance gets one. However, we are extremely busy at the moment, handling just over 5,000 emergency calls per day. This means that, unfortunately, some patients, particularly those with non-life-threatening conditions, are waiting longer than we would like.
“We hope the patient makes a full recovery and invite him to contact our patient safety team if he would like us to look into this further. We have also invited Ms Cooper to meet with our Chief Executive, Daren Mochrie, about the incident.”
NWAS stated target category two response time – average 18 mins, and within 40 mins nine out of 10 times.
Target category three response time – average within two hours nine out of 10 times.