An 83 year old woman waits eight hours for ambulance - on a day the pressured service takes almost 350 calls

The EEAST ambulance service took almsot 350 calls on the day an 83 yar old woman fell and waited eig

The EEAST ambulance service took almsot 350 calls on the day an 83 yar old woman fell and waited eight hours for an ambulance.. - Credit: Archant

An 83 year old woman waited for eight hours for an ambulance to take her to hospital after she fell while at her daughter’s home in Ely.

The fall came on a day when the stretched ambulance service took almost 350 emergency calls.

Rita Taylor had an operation for a prolapsed disc in her back four years ago, so when she fell, her daughter was afraid to move her to take her to A&E herself in case she caused further damage.

Kim Cameron, of Witchford Road, said: “Mum went to sit in a chair at my house and fell sideways and fell to the floor, she was in terrible pain.

“She has suffered spinal problems and I was worried if I moved her it could make things worse, so I rang an ambulance at 1.18pm and covered her with a blanket and cushioned her head to make her comfy.

“After an hour and a half I rang again to ask if they were coming.

“On my third call I was told they had got the blues going and would be with us soon - that was at 5pm. An amublance reached us at gone 9pm.

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“I understand it was probably a busy day but is this what we have come to - that a phone call is not responded to for eight hours?

“The crew were very good when they arrived and could not be more helpful, they apologised for how long it took.

“It is not staff fault, they are obviously stretched to the limit.”

Two days after her fall Mrs Cameron was still in Addenbrooke’s Hospital on the orthopaedic ward.

An EEAST spokesperson said: “Our crews and control rooms colleagues are facing considerable pressures – almost 350 emergency calls were made in Cambridgeshire on Monday.

“So it follows that sheer patient numbers and demand do impact on our ability to respond as quickly as people expect us to.

“We received a call to a report of a woman who had fallen whilst trying to sit down and had back pain.

“Based on the information provided, the incident was not deemed to be a life-threatening incident.

“The woman was conscious and breathing and said she had pain in her back and legs.

“An ambulance became available at 8.24pm and took the patient to Addenbrooke’s.

“We’d like to apologise to the patient and her family for the distress caused by the wait and we would urge them to get in touch for us to look more closely in to this.”