86 year old Norwich woman waits three hours for ambulance

  • Posted

Posted 10/12/2012

An 86 year old woman had to wait almost three hours for an ambulance after falling and breaking her leg on the pavement outside her home in Norfolk.

Daphne Shaw slipped on the pavement as she was getting into a car outside her home in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich.  A friend phoned 999 and was told an ambulance would be on its way but it took nearly three hours. The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) said its crews had been delayed at hospitals in the area.  

During the wait, neighbours covered Mrs Shaw with blankets to try and keep her warm. Her friend, Jim Tate, aged 90, who was with her when she fell said: “It was an emergency. An elderly person exposed in the gutter on a public road I thought the wait was scandalous”.  Mrs Shaw was taken to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital where surgeons pinned her thigh bone. Speaking from her hospital bed Mrs Shaw said: “Every now and then you heard an ambulance in the distance and every time I thought, ‘Oh that’s coming’ and then it disappeared”. An ambulance spokesman said: “We do our best to get to patients within the necessary timeframe but a number of our crews were diverted away from the incident because of more life threatening incidents occurring”.

Julie Crossley, a medical injury lawyer at Ashtons Legal, comments: “This is an awful case where this lady had to wait for three hours in freezing temperatures on the pavement until the ambulance arrived. She had a fracture of the thigh bone and it is not clear from the news article whether she suffered any other complications because of the wait. However, it is not acceptable that anyone should have to wait this long for an ambulance”.


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