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Ambulance service apologises to Ipswich horse rider left in agony for two hours

PUBLISHED: 12:30 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:19 27 June 2017

Kirsty McCulloch fell off her horse while riding near Ipswich. She had to drive herself to hospital in excruciating pain after waiting over two hours for an ambulance which never arrived. Picture: GREGG BROWN.

Kirsty McCulloch fell off her horse while riding near Ipswich. She had to drive herself to hospital in excruciating pain after waiting over two hours for an ambulance which never arrived. Picture: GREGG BROWN.

An Ipswich mother-of-two who fell off a horse had to drive herself to hospital in "excruciating pain" after waiting for almost two hours for an ambulance which never arrived.

Kirsty McCulloch fell off her horse while riding near Ipswich. She had to drive herself to hospital in excruciating pain after waiting over two hours for an ambulance which never arrived. Picture: GREGG BROWN.Kirsty McCulloch fell off her horse while riding near Ipswich. She had to drive herself to hospital in excruciating pain after waiting over two hours for an ambulance which never arrived. Picture: GREGG BROWN.

Experienced rider Kirsty McCulloch, 33, crashed to the ground while out riding with a friend near Ipswich on Saturday.

She was badly winded and suffered severe lower back pain. Her friend called for an ambulance shortly before 9.30am, but by 11.15am, it still had not arrived.

“I was in excruciating pain and couldn’t wait any longer,” she said. Her friend helped her struggle back to her car before she drove herself to A&E at Ipswich Hospital.

An x-ray revealed severe internal and external bruising to her lower back area but no broken bones. She is currently resting at home with painkillers and still in a lot of pain.

She said: “I feel really disappointed. I understand it was not life-threatening, but I didn’t know if I had broken my back or suffered serious injuries.

“I was in excruciating pain and could hardly talk.

“I was lying on the ground for about two hours. The ambulance service didn’t say it would be a long wait. We were near the hospital and kept hearing all these ambulances. I thought the next one would be for me, but it wasn’t.

“I would like an explanation. I understand they might put you at the bottom of the list, but other horse riders should be aware.”

An East of England Ambulance Service Trust spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to Kirsty for her wait and any distress this may have caused. We have been in a sustained period of high demand recently whereby we are prioritising those with very serious or life threatening conditions.

“The incident was coded as a ‘green’ serious but not life threatening. Due to high call activity on Saturday which saw more than 450 calls come in from Suffolk, of which 40% were serious or life threatening, we were unable to dispatch an ambulance until 11.13am. We were shortly stood down as Kirsty had taken herself to hospital where we hope she made a good recovery. If Kirsty would like us to investigate further we recommend she contacts us.”

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