Complaint after Otley man waits four hours for ambulance 'screaming in pain' with broken hip
PUBLISHED: 09:51 08 February 2017
A 79-year-old cancer patient was left lying on the floor for four hours waiting for an ambulance after he fell at his home, his family has claimed.
When Arthur Bloomfield, of Otley, was eventually taken to hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning, doctors found he had broken his hip and he was taken into surgery later that day.
Just three weeks ago Mr Bloomfield, who was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer last year, lost his wife of 56 years.
Mr Bloomfield’s son Mark was with him when he fell.
The first call was made to the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) at 11.10pm on Monday, and Mark was told it was a busy night and there would be wait.
Mark claims he called 999 another two times and the non-emergency NHS line 111 once, before an ambulance arrived around 3.30am.
“My dad was screaming in pain,” said Mark, 52.
“He fell from standing up and banged his head on the TV unit, and now we know he has fractured his hip.
“It’s the third fall he has had in a week, so obviously there’s a problem.”
Mr Bloomfield’s daughter-in-law, who asked not to be named, said: “I think it’s disgusting to leave an almost 80-year-old on the floor for four hours.”
The family has now lodged a formal complaint with EEAST.
An EEAST spokeswoman said it received a 999 call just after 11pm on Monday and the incident was coded as serious, but not life-threatening.
She added: “We dispatched a number of ambulances to Mr Bloomfield, but unfortunately these were diverted to other patients whose conditions were deemed more immediately life-threatening, and we weren’t able to get a crew to him until just after 3am.
“We strive to provide an excellent service to our patients and we’re sorry that on this occasion we haven’t met the high standards we aim for, and that Mr Bloomfield and his family expect.
“Our crews and control rooms colleagues are unfortunately facing considerable pressures, and sheer patient numbers and demand do have an impact on our ability to respond as quickly as people expect us to.
“We are grateful for Mr Bloomfield’s family contacting us directly, and will be investigating this further for them.”