Injured Havering people left waiting for ambulances due to lack of resources
15:30 24 June 2014
A “semi-conscious” eight-year-old boy waited for more than an hour for an ambulance on the same day a man with a broken leg was driven to hospital by a stranger because he could wait no longer.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) lacks the resources to respond as they “would like to” and must prioritise, a spokesman said.
Two people contacted the Recorder to complain about the long waits in Havering on Father’s Day.
Simon Redmond, 46, of Harold Hill, saw the eight-year-old boy fall from a swing in Central Park, Harold Hill. The boy’s parents quickly called an ambulance.
Mr Redmond returned an hour later to find that the boy was still waiting for the emergency services.
He said: “‘Crikey, he’s still on the floor’, I thought. He was finding it difficult to stay awake. It looked like he was drifting in and out of consciousness.”
The LAS spokesman confirmed the waiting time but said the control room had been informed that he was alert. He was taken to Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
The spokesman said that the service received more than 5,500 calls that day.
“We don’t have the resources to respond to that number of calls the way we would like to. We have to prioritise people in life-threatening conditions,” he said.
But Mr Redmond said: “Of course they have to prioritise but this poor little thing was in and out of consciousness.
“The ambulance staff were clearly overworked and understaffed that day.”
Tom Waller, 61, of Adelphi Crescent, Hornchurch, helped a man in his 50s who had crashed off his bike in Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, breaking his leg in two places and his wrist.
An ambulance was called but after three hours had still not turned up.
A volunteer from the park conservation group resorted to driving the man to Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, he said
LAS assistant operations director Michael Pearce said: “We are sorry that we could not send an ambulance crew to both patients sooner.”
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