An 82-year-old woman waited an hour for an ambulance to get to her after she fell and hit her head on a supermarket car park.
Campaigners from the Save Hartlepool Hospital group, who were collecting names for their petition to bring services back to Hartlepool at the time, went to her aid along with staff and passers by.
This poor lady’s accident highlights the need to have our full services returnedSave Hartlepool Hospital spokesman
The group says the incident at Asda in Peterlee last Friday afternoon highlights the need for more ambulances on the road and to have hospital services closer to people’s homes.
Hospital campaigners rallied round the patient and bought a duvet and heat pads to keep her warm until the ambulance arrived. They later heard she was OK and was back at home.
A Save Hartlepool Hospital spokesman said of the ambulance service: “They do an amazing job each and every time they are called upon.
“This poor lady’s accident highlights the need to have our full services returned. If we had more ambulances on the road, waiting times would be less for each patient who needed them.
“Also, if we had the hospital back, it would have been so much easier for people from Durham South to get to visit relatives in the hospital.”
A North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) spokesman said: “There can be a number of reasons that patients might wait longer than we would like for an ambulance.
“We must always prioritise the most seriously ill patients so less urgent patients experience a delay but other factors might also have an influence on our response time, such as a shortage of paramedics or high demand at the time of an incident.”
The Save Hartlepool Hospital group added another 3,127 names to its petition calling for services to be reinstated at Hartlepool hospital during the two-day event and were supported again by Peterlee Mayor, Councillor Mary Cartwright.
The campaign group will be at Morrison’s in Hartlepool on December 4 and 5 from 10am to 6pm when members will be handing out information leaflets. Anyone who has not yet signed the petition can do so.