Elderly Ashfield woman lay bleeding for three hours while waiting for ambulance

More than 900,000 emergency calls for ambulances were answered without paramedics last year, new figures reveal.
More than 900,000 emergency calls for ambulances were answered without paramedics last year, new figures reveal.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised an investigation into why an elderly Ashfield woman was left bleeing from a head wound for three hours while waiting for an ambulance.

Gloria De Piero questioned the PM after an elderly constituent was left waiting for an ambulance for over three hours following a fall at home.

The 83-year-old lady was bleeding profusely after hitting her head, and if it was not for her son rushing to her aid, she would have been left lying on the floor for the entire time.

This was the second time the lady had a long wait for an ambulance in a matter of weeks, as she waited five hours for medical attention after falling and fracturing two vertebrae in February.

Gloria asked the PM during Prime Minister’s questions: “Will the Prime Minister apologise to my constituent, and promise the rest of the country that no-one else’s elderly mum will suffer like this?”

Theresa May stumbled for a response before promising that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt would look into the circumstances.

Mrs May added that she was sorry to hear what the lady had gone through.

Gloria said: “We have heard time and again about how much pressure the ambulance service and A&E departments have been in this winter. The facts and figures are shocking, but what is more shocking are the real human stories behind these missed targets.”

She added: “The NHS is under-funded and under-resourced and the blame for this and individual cases of suffering like this one lie firmly with this Government.”

Following Theresa May’s response, Gloria has written to the Health Secretary and the East Midlands Ambulance Service for them to investigate the incident.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We are currently in contact with the patient and her family, who have said that they have no concerns about the professionalism of the service they received but contacted their local MP to highlight the lack of resources our service is currently facing. We will continue to work with the patient and her family to fully investigate the delay she experienced, and will continue to liaise with Gloria de Piero’s office.”

The incident comes after it was reported that East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) met with health bosses to ask for £20 million a year to recruit an extra 300 staff, but no agreement has yet been reached.

EMAS, which serves 4.8 million people has been under fire for reaching critically ill people in an average time of nine minutes, which is two minutes short of its target.

Richard Henderson, Chief Executive at East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “Despite the efficiencies made at EMAS there is a fundamental gap between the resources we need and the funding we presently receive. This is demonstrated by national benchmarking undertaken by the National Audit Office, and a formal review undertaken jointly with commissioners. These resources are essential if we are to meet the present requirements of our population, as well as remain responsive to the continuing growth in demand. In response to this evidence, we have requested additional funding of £20 million per annum on a phased basis from our commissioners. This funding would enable us to increase the number of clinicians and ambulances that we have on the road so that we can improve both our ambulance response times overall, and minimise the risk of prolonged waits. As we would need to recruit and train staff and secure additional ambulances these changes would not happen overnight; however, we are ready to move forward with these plans with urgency if commissioners approve the funding requested. Although we continue to strive for improvements, we do not believe that it is possible to achieve national standards in full without these essential additional resources, and we await a response from our commissioners.”