Woman had to wait SEVEN hours for ambulance after breaking her hip at Mansfield nursing home

An 87-year-old woman who fell and broke her hip and wrist in a Mansfield care home had to wait more than seven hours for an ambulance.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 1:18 pm

Joan Gozzard fell at Newgate Lodge Nursing home at 5pm on Friday, fracturing her femur and her wrist - but despite a 999 call being made the ambulance did not arrive until 1am.

King’s Mill Hospital is just 10 minutes away from the home on Newgate Lane

Her family are looking for an explanation into what they have called a “systemic failure” in prioritising her injuries.

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Mrs Gozzard's son Andrew 52, told how he drove 125 miles from Gloucester to be with his mum and got to the home before the ambulance arrived to take her to King’s Mill Hospital.

He said: “My mother fell and broke her fall with her hand and she was in a massive amount of pain.

“The home rang for an ambulance and then contacted the family.

“We are all over the country. I was coming back from my daughter’s in Gloucester. I stopped off at the nursing home and she was still there sitting in a chair waiting for the ambulance .

“She was in a bad way and couldn’t move her leg.

He said there were several 999 calls made to chase up the ambulance and the message that came back was it would be there “as soon as they could.”

He added: “When the ambulance came they were brilliant. They were very apologetic and none of my frustration is aimed at them. My criticism is how the call centre prioritises the 999 calls.

He said: “I would criticise the call centre triaging. They can’t see the patient and can only go on what people are telling them but an 87-year-old woman with a suspected fractured hip should be a priority.

The nurse at A&E told me she should not have been left seven and a half hours and she had seen lots of similar injuries which have not had good outcomes.

Mrs Goddard was given morphine in the ambulance and was taken in to A&E at King’s Mill Hospital. Andrew says she was given a pot for her wrist and eventually transferred to ward 11 at 6am.

She is now recovering after a two and a half hour operation for a semi-hip replacement.

Andrew added: “It is a big nasty injury for anyone to get – she could have had internal bleeding . She was in a care home with members of staff who are carers, not a nursing home where a nurse could say she was stable or not.

“I would like to know what criteria there were to prioritise her. Why did it take so long?”

The extraordinary story highlights concerns about overstretched ambulance services.

Andrew said the ambulance crew told him the bottleneck was caused by the physical handover time for getting people off the ambulance trolleys into hospital.

He added: “A&E was inundated with drunks.

“There was a woman in a bay next to us who had to be restrained by security guards and people who were in fancy dress sleeping off their hangovers. It is self induced stupidity – they could have been 'treated’ at a GP surgery.

“If you look at EMAS they are very proactive on social media publishing that people should not go to A&E when it is not necessary. It is obviously not resonating with people.”

Wendy Hazard, Ambulance Operations Manager for Nottinghamshire at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We are sorry we were unable to get to this patient sooner. We were experiencing a high demand on the service at the time, and many of these patients were experiencing life-threatening issues or more serious emergencies.

“Every 999 call is assessed based on the information we receive and while we aim to get to all patients as quickly as possible, those experiencing life-threatening emergencies, such as cardiac arrest or breathing difficulties, do take priority and have to be seen first.

“Until an ambulance became available, our Clinical Assessment Team of nurses and paramedics provided additional support over the telephone to the patient and those who were helping her.

“We would like to speak to the patient directly to help us improve the care we provide. If they would be willing to speak to us, I would like to ask them to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by telephoning 0333 012 4216 or by emailing [email protected]

“We received a call at 4.39pm on 13 December to a care home in Mansfield. The caller reported someone had fallen. This call was categorised as a Category 4 – a non-urgent call.

“We received a second call at 10.12pm for this patient and a further call at 10.57pm.

“A crewed ambulance arrived on scene at 12.35am and transported one patient to King’s Mill Hospital. “

Chief Operating Officer for Sherwood Forest Hospitals, Simon Barton said: “Sherwood Forest Hospitals see the swift handover and turnaround of ambulances from King’s Mill Hospital’s Emergency Department as a major priority to enable crews to get back out on the road. Our staff are focussed and working very hard to do this. It is down to this hard work that ambulance turnaround times have significantly improved in the last year, meaning that the percentage of ambulances taking longer than 30 minutes to be turned around at the Trust is less than one in 10.”