Ambulance delay anger

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ON Tuesday January 31 at 4pm I was waiting on Gillygate near Pontefract Town Hall, when an elderly man collapsed about ten yards away from me and banged the back of his head.

I, along with a couple of young men, rushed to his assistance. A few seconds later another lady came, who I later found out to be called Laura.

The two young men tried to pick him up and I asked several times not to do this, but they ignored me.

As the elderly man stood on his feet, his eyes went funny and he collapsed again onto the floor. This time I stood over him to stop the young men from picking him up again. They left as I put him into a recovery position.

Laura phoned 999 and I took off my fleece and woolly hat and placed it on the man to try and keep him warm.

My wife Rachel, who is first aid trained, came to see what I was doing. I asked her to stay with the man and Laura while I went to the solicitors with my mother-in-law.

Rachel told me Laura had to phone 999 again to find out where the ambulance was and was told it was on the way.

Both Laura and Rachel took it in turns to sit on the very cold pedestrian precinct to try and keep him warm and they were getting numb by the cold. Eventually a community police officer came and again radioed the incident in.

After nearly half an hour, two 999 calls and a CPO call, a rapid response vehicle turned up along with two ambulances. The elderly man was by now very cold and very, very confused.

When asked why it took them so long, the paramedics said they had to come from Castleford depot and they were unable to get through traffic at the M62 roundabout.

How can Pinderfields Hospital get someone to hospital from Pontefract inside 20 minutes, as was told to me at a meeting a few years ago? We all laughed at this and it is proving to be true.

The elderly man was taken to hospital and we have not heard anything since. I do hope he is alright.

I want to complain bitterly at the time it took for the ambulance to arrive on an emergency call. Is this today’s NHS?

CHRIS LEMMON

Mill Hill Avenue

Pontefract