90-year-old told to wait 14 hours outside for ambulance after breaking hip

24 July 2022, 16:17

By James Bickerton

A caller revealed his 90-year-old mother was told she'd have to wait 14 hours for an ambulance, after falling over outside her house.

When her carers, who'd called 999, queried the long overnight wait they were told to "put a blanket over her".

The caller, Chris from Harringay, ended up ordering a wheelchair taxi instead which took his mother to A&E.

Speaking to Paul Brand on LBC he said: "I received a call from my Mum's carers saying they'd found her on her driveway having had a fall, and they told me they'd rung the ambulance and the ambulance service said 'has she hurt anything?'

"She said 'yes I'm hurting all over'. The ambulance service said in that case you can't move her, we'll be there in approximately 14 hours.

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"I'm having this conversation third hand with the carers and I said 'are you sure about this'? Clearly we cannot leave my mother overnight on bricks. They said we've asked them that and they said put a blanket over her. Well that would obviously have been catastrophic.

"I said 'look, I think you're going to have to try and get her into a wheelchair and just hope she didn't hurt her back'. I had to drive back to where Mum is. The carers said 'do you want to take responsibility for us trying to get her up' and I said yes, because there's no alternative, they got her into a wheelchair.

"One of them had the brainwave of using a wheelchair taxi. I rang the [ambulance] dispatcher back and she said 'you're doing the right thing, it's still showing us over 14 hours. Just get your Mum to A&E anyway you can.'"

Chris said he spoke to a triage nurse at the hospital who said the shortage of ambulances was because they were all outside the building "full of patients".