Ambulance delay sees patient left lying on the street
A MAN was left writhing in agony on the floor for two hours with a suspected broken shoulder waiting for an ambulance.
The 49-year-old was walking in Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, yesterday morning when he tripped and crashed to the pavement.
But despite numerous emergency calls from passers-by, he was left moaning on the ground while waiting for paramedics.
His only help during this time came from Good Samaritans who happened to be in the area – an off-duty GP out for a run, a patrolling PCSO and a fire crew from Southsea.
Retired Royal Navy Commander Keith Edmunds lives in Broad Street. He was working in his garage and heard the man’s cries.
When he went to investigate he saw him on the pavement with the male GP and female PCSO.
The retired 68-year-old said: ‘They told me there was an ambulance on its way – that was at about 11.30am.
‘Midday came and there was nothing. I then called 999 at 12.10pm demanding an ambulance and was told it was on the way. Nothing arrived until about 12.50pm.
‘Frankly this is absolutely disgraceful and symptomatic of what’s wrong with the public sector.’
Southsea Fire Station’s crew manager Chris Norgate was inspecting the area as part of his first day on the job.
He and his crew passed the injured man and offered assistance.
Firefighters Bill Cutler, Dave Holloway and Mark Slack provided first aid until the paramedics arrived.
Chris praised his team’s actions and said: ‘It was lucky we were all there. He was in quite a lot of pain. But my guys did an excellent job providing first aid and making him comfortable.’
Paramedics arrived at 12.50pm and took the man to Queen Alexandra Hospital.
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (Scas) has since apologised for the delay.
A spokesman said: ‘Currently, demand for our emergency service in Portsmouth is extremely high and therefore we have to prioritise our available resources to those patients in life-threatening conditions.
‘Scas is working with all its hospital and health system partners to improve patient flow and handover times in local emergency departments in order that more of our resources are available so that we can respond in a timely manner to all patients, including those whose illnesses or injuries are not life-threatening.’