Son hits out at ‘scandalous’ eight-hour ambulance wait for Hartlepool pensioner with broken arm and shoulder

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A great-grandmother faced an agonising eight-hour wait for an ambulance as she lay on the floor with a broken arm and shoulder.

The North East Ambulance Service was called to a house in Hazelwood Rise, on the Headland, Hartlepool, last Saturday night

It’s absolutely scandalous for an old age pensioner to be laid on the floor for eight hours with a broken shoulder

Wayne Allen

Georgina Allen, 68, had fallen and broken both her arm and shoulder, before her feet became trapped under her bed.

After initial treatment from carers, who had been called out when an emergency button installed in the house was pressed, the pensioner had to wait eight hours until an ambulance took her to hospital at 1.40am.

She was comforted throughout that time by sons Wayne and Mark Allen, who live with the mum-of-two, grandmother-of-two and great-grandmother-of-two in the house. They say the carers left after about 20 minutes.

The North East Ambulance Service has apologised for what it calls a service which ‘fell short’ of what they aim to provide.

Wayne said: “She was lying on the deck in agony with no pain relief.

“I can’t fault the paramedics that came out, because they did everything they could to help her.

“But the cuts to the ambulance service are ridiculous.

“They’re stripping everything back and it’s affecting people’s lives.

“I know they’re struggling, but it’s absolutely scandalous for an old age pensioner to be laid on the floor for eight hours with a broken shoulder.”

Mrs Allen – who is still receiving treatment at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton and is now considered to be at risk of contracting pneumonia – had worked in the NHS at Hartlepool General Hospital in a domestic role for several decades.

Wayne says the family now feels let down that in her hour of need, the help was not there.

He added: “We did as much as we could to keep her comfortable, but didn’t want to move her in case we caused any more damage.

“I’m 36 and she has worked in the NHS for most of my lifetime.

“I feel they have let her down when she needed them the most.

“I understand the pressures the emergency services are under on a daily basis and am in no way blaming them personally, but I am appalled at the service my mother received and believe something needs to be done about this situation.”

A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We would like to apologise to this patient for the delay she experienced and the distress this has caused.

“The patient spoke to a clinician as part of her assessment and an ambulance was dispatched on one occasion, but was diverted as we were receiving a high number of emergency calls at the time.

“Our service this patient received fell short of what we would want to provide and she should not have waited as long as she did for an ambulance.

“The reason for delayed responses in recent years has often been due to the high demand of emergency 999 incidents.

“When so many incidents are assessed as needing such a quick response, it has the unwanted consequence that cases that are not assessed as being immediately life-threatening have longer waits.

“We would encourage her to contact us directly so we can investigate the complaint further.”