THE ambulance service has apologised to the mother of a boy who was left waiting in agony after he impaled himself on his bike handlebars.
Despite repeated 999 calls no ambulance was sent to help Cameron Smith when his bike stuck in the top of his leg as he fell on a cycle path in Gregson Avenue, Gosport.
As reported in The News an ambulance was not sent for the 10-year-old because, after speaking to him, the call handler didn’t think the incident was serious enough.
Cameron was later taken to hospital by a family friend and needed eight stitches to his leg. His mum Kim Smith and her father-in-law Grayden complained to South Central Ambulance Service following his accident on May 12.
Now the ambulance service have sent Mrs Smith, of Totland Road, Bridgemary, a letter of apology. But she wants health officials to make changes to the way 999 calls are handled.
She said: ‘I’m glad that I have received an apology but the ambulance service needs to think about improving its policy.
‘How can a 10-year-old boy with a handlebar stuck in his leg explain to a call handler how serious his injury is?
‘He was obviously in a lot of shock and didn’t want to look at it.
‘Someone should have been there to help him.
‘I am now looking to meet with Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage to see if she can make changes.’
The call handler had classified Cameron’s situation as a Green 60 call, which meant that an ambulance would not be sent for an hour because it was not considered to be life-threatening. The ambulance service’s policy states that a 999 call is classified as either a red, amber or green response. The call handler makes this decision based on the answers they get to questions about an incident. In its letter South Central Ambulance service explains that Cameron’s injury was described as just a cut by the first person to make a 999 call.
The call handler also spoke to Cameron and didn’t think he was in any distress.
A second 999 call was then made by a bus driver who said the wound was only an inch wide. In the end Cameron’s friend Adam Bucklar, aged nine, who was cycling with him at the time, rang his own parents and they drove Cameron to Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Nurses then arranged for him to have the hole in his leg stitched up.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘What Cameron and his family had to go through was unacceptable. I look forward to meeting with the ambulance service and Cameron’s family to work together on how we can prevent an incident like this from ever happening again.’