June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Lizzie Parry
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
A DISGUSTED son has called for action to improve ambulance services after his 90-year-old mother was left waiting with a broken hip for more than THREE hours.
Emily Bell lay in agony on the floor of her room at Angel Court Residential Home in Hadleigh for 189 minutes before paramedics reached her in the early hours of September 2.
Her son David Bell, of Prittlewell Close, off Belstead Road contacted The Star after reading about footballer Tommy Childs’ 72-minute wait with a broken leg on September 11.
Mrs Bell, who suffers with Alzheimer’s, fell and injured her hip on September 1. After receiving a call from staff at the home at about 9.45pm, Mr Bell said it wasn’t until 12.45am – around three hours later – that staff called back to say the ambulance had arrived to take her to Ipswich Hospital.
Apologising for failing to meet the standards expected, a spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said the call came into their control room at 9.12pm reporting Mrs Bell’s fall. The log reveals the ambulance arrived at 12.21am.
But the spokeswoman said due to staff not being told of any serious injury, the call was not graded as a serious incident and was marked to require a response within one hour – a target the Trust accept they missed.
Mr Bell, 65, told The Star: “She was lying on the floor with a broken hip all that time.
“It is disgusting, she must have been in so much pain. She had an operation later that morning to fix a plate and pin her hip.
“Something needs to be done, there is something not right with the process. Incidents like this can’t keep on happening.”
An ambulance spokeswoman said the log detailing Mrs Bell’s condition shows no mention of a serious injury.
She said: “We regret this patient did not experience our usually good service and would be happy to talk to her about it if she would like to contact us.
“On the basis that we were not told of any serious injuries during the initial call or later it was graded to require a response within one hour. We supplemented this with regular phone calls to monitor the lady’s condition. We later upgraded to requiring a response within 30 minutes due to the length of time she had waited.
“This was an unusually busy time with a very high level of short notice staff absence and a higher than average number of ambulances busy with patients at the region’s hospitals.
“We are however in the process of revising rotas to help get to patients quicker by better matching resources to demand, putting crews in places and at times when patients need them the most and are investing £400,000 in improving services in rural areas.
“ We also aim to cut down staff absence from 28 per cent to 20pc through better management of training courses, holidays and sickness.
“We wish the patient all the best for a recovery.”
n In response to the story about Tommy Childs’ 72-minute wait for an ambulance after he broke his leg playing football, the spokeswoman said: “EEAST would like to clarify that hospital handover delays were not solely to blame for the delayed response to Tommy Childs but, region-wide, were part of a bigger picture of resourcing challenges at that time. We are working with hospitals however to reduce handover delays so our crews can be available more quickly to respond to more patients.”
n Tell us your experiences of the ambulance service. Write to health reporter Lizzie Parry at Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org