Ill man’s anxiety over time of ambulance 999 response

East Midlands ambulance
East Midlands ambulance
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Concerns about ambulance response times have been raised after a Heathfield man said he waited over an hour for an ambulance after 999 was callled.

Angus Fraser, 83, collapsed twice on Sunday August 18, but waited over an hour for an ambulance to take him to Harrogate District Hospital.

“My wife had already called the 111 service but since I collapsed again she called an ambulance,” he said.

A paramedic in a car arrived at Mr Frasers home around half an hour after the initial call was made.

“The paramedic was lovely when he got here and the staff at the hospital were excellent, I have no critisism of the staff but it’s the time it took it was more than an hour before an ambulance arrived.

“I thought if I had a stroke or heart attack I wouldn’t be here today and that is what is worrying us and our neighbours.”

Mr Fraser was taken to Harrogate hospital and had an x-ray before going home later that evening.

He said: “They found I had a chest infection and my blood pressure was low and they could both have led to my collapse, especially with them both together. I was given antibiotics and came home that evening”

He added:“My wife was extremely anxious about it, she still is.

“It is on going concern for us, we are worried sick about if something happens to us.”

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “We aim to reach all of our patients as quickly as possible and would like to apologise for any distress caused following this 999 call.

“Based on the information given by the caller, the patient’s condition was categorised as non-life threatening.

“Our records indicate that we had a fully-trained clinician in a rapid response vehicle on scene within 28 minutes - inside the allocated time-frame for a call of this nature.

“They provided initial assessment and treatment and monitored the patient until the arrival of an ambulance to convey him to hospital.

Mr Fraser’s wife Anita said: “It was such a worrying chaotic time, whatever the time was it was far too long.”

The issue of ambulance response times was discussed at a Safer Neighbourhood group meeting in Pateley Bridge.

James Webb, the new manager for Harrogate, Ripon, Pateley Bridge and Wetherby ambulance service told the meeting there was an 80 per cent success rate in attendance within eight minutes, adding that journey times are very important, especially in rural areas.