A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy who broke his leg climbing a fence was left howling in agony for more than three hours when an ambulance failed to arrive.
Zayden Ward got his right foot caught in some wire mesh but his body flipped over the top of the fence, in Buckland play park.
But that was only the start of the problems. When his mother Michelle Anderson dialled 999 at 2pm from her home in Longs Walk, Buckland, she was told the wait could be ‘up to’ 30 minutes.
But despite at least five calls the ambulance still had not arrived by 5pm so the family managed to get a lift to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, – because they do not have a car – with Zayden writhing in agony.
Miss Anderson said she felt they had no choice, even though she feared damaging his leg further by moving him themselves.
Once they arrived at the A&E department Miss Anderson says there was a queue of empty ambulances waiting to be sent out on jobs.
I don’t want this to happen to another child. It’s diabolical. Zayden was absolutely howling in agonyMichelle Anderson
The 39-year-old mum-of-six said: ‘The back doors were open and there were no patients inside.
‘I couldn’t help myself, so I told one of the paramedics we had been waiting for three hours for an ambulance.
‘He just frowned and said there must have been a problem with communication because they had been up there.
‘When we first rang they said they were dealing with a lot of strokes and cardiac arrests and they took priority, which I understand.
‘But we had a little boy in excruciating pain. His leg was snapped.
‘He ended up having to have metal plates and bolts put in, it was so bad.
‘I just can’t believe they didn’t even send out a first responder. There wasn’t even a courtesy call to say how long it would be.
‘I don’t want this to happen to another child. It’s diabolical. Zayden was absolutely howling in agony.’
In a statement South Central Ambulance Service apologised for the delay and said it was categorised as a Green 2 call (non-life-threatening), meaning an ambulance should have been with Zayden within 30 minutes.
It blamed a number of factors, including staff sickness.
The statement went on: ‘We would like to apologise to the patient and his family for the delay in responding to this incident and regret that on this occasion the timely service we aim to achieve was not of the standard we strive to deliver.’
Scas said the delays were down to:
n High level of demand for emergency services
n Ambulances unable to off-load patients at A&E departments
n A 20 per cent increase in demand from patients in life-threatening conditions in the past year
n Short notice staff sickness
n Challenges recruiting staff for vacant posts.