Forty-two minute wait for ambulance

A ROAD crash victim in Ipswich had to wait 42 minutes for treatment today, because the nearest ambulance was in Norfolk.Crews were stretched to breaking point in Suffolk today following a series of early morning emergencies.

A ROAD crash victim in Ipswich had to wait 42 minutes for treatment today, because the nearest ambulance was in Norfolk.

Crews were stretched to breaking point in Suffolk today following a series of early morning emergencies.

One man, involved in a crash in Landseer Road, Ipswich at 8.30am, had to wait until 9.12am before paramedics arrived.

Although not a serious accident, ambulance bosses today admitted they would have struggled to get there any earlier even if it had been life-threatening.

It comes at a time when Suffolk's health service has come under fire on various fronts, with its rising debt and claims of poor performance.

A spokesman for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust said: "At 8.30am, every single one of our 13 ambulances and six rapid response vehicles were already on 999 calls.

Most Read

"We had to call in ambulances from outside the county to help. It's been an exceptionally busy morning and we very much regret this man had to wait longer than he should've done.

"If the accident had have been life threatening we could've paged every officer in the service to get them there quicker.

"But we can't guarantee there would've been a faster response."

When the call to the accident was received, at 8.30am, the nearest available ambulance was in Norwich. A short while after another vehicle became free in Diss and was diverted to the Ipswich incident.

Ambulances were being drafted in from Norfolk and Essex at the time of the accident, although none had arrived in the county at the time.

It happened during a period when paramedics were already dealing with 11 other urgent incidents in Suffolk, some of which had more than crew called to them.

The Landseer Road crash involved a white van and a mini-bus. The bus driver was left with what was thought to be whiplash injuries. He was given oxygen in a police car while he waited.

Sub officer Dave Collins, of Suffolk Fire Service, said: "We were called at 8.34am. All we know is there was a collision between two vans. There were three casualties with minor injuries and we administered first aid while we awaiting for ambulance."

Pc Tony Johnson, who was also at the scene, said: "We waited for an ambulance but were told it was going to take about 45 minutes. We took precautions just in case."

N Write in with your experiences of the ambulance service, good or bad, to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter