Ipswich: Couple’s disgust at ambulance wait

AN Ipswich couple have today spoken of their “disgust” at having to wait around 45 minutes for an ambulance after a suspected heart attack.

Brian Stringer, 75, of Maple Close in Chantry, told The Star that he collapsed at home on June 8 – just a day after he was taken to hospital with chest pains.

His wife, Belinda, 69, said after calling 999 they waited “nearly an hour” for paramedics to arrive.

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) said the caller told the control staff that Mr Stringer had fallen but had “no injuries or symptoms” at 5.21pm.

“It was coded as low priority incident with an hour response time but the caller was told to phone back if any symptoms did arise,” said the trust spokeswoman.

“At 6.03pm they called to tell us the patient was now experiencing chest pain and we sent a response immediately which arrived in less than four minutes. The patient was found to have a high pulse and breathing rate and was stabilised on scene before being taken to Ipswich Hospital.

“The call follows one the day before when we arrived in less than three minutes to the same patient experiencing chest pains and again we took him to Ipswich Hospital.”

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Mrs Stringer said: “To me waiting that long is disgusting.

“It could have been life-threatening, he had already had one small heart attack the day before.

“We were just waiting and waiting and he was getting worse so we had to call back.”

Doctors at the Heath Road trust diagnosed Mr Stringer with gall stones, a blocked bile duct and a blood infection as well as confirming he had suffered another small heart attack.