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'Amazing' passers-by thanked after elderly woman falls at Marks & Spencer - and initially gets no help from staff

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 November 2013

The daughter of an elderly woman who tripped and smashed her head on a window as she left Marks & Spencer has praised passers-by for their help.

As we reported last week, staff at the store in South Street, Romford, are said to have not provided a blanket or first aid as Carol Phillips, 71, lay injured.

The store has since apologised for their initial inaction, which was blamed on a procedural “misunderstanding”.

But Carol’s daughter Lisa Hewitt, 45, said she was not approached by any M&S staff during the more than 40 minute ordeal.

She told the Recorder: “Primark [next door] was excellent. And the lady from Wallace was amazing.

“I was given a couple of towels [from M&S] but at no point did anyone come to speak to me the whole time I was out there.

“Since then, I called up to make sure they had put what happened in the incident book.

“The store manager offered his profuse apologies.”

Speaking of the passers-by who came to her aid, she said: “They were amazing. I was getting more help from them. They were really good.

“I had my 10-year-old daughter with me who was extremely upset seeing her nan like that.

“There was liquid from all the shopping on the floor and they [passers-by] were clearing up.

“The next day when I thought about it, that’s when I was upset that they [M&S] never took my name.

“They have attempted to put it right since then – this isn’t a witch-hunt.”

She said it took 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

An M&S spokesman said: “We are sorry that one of our colleagues initially misunderstood our procedures and we are taking measures to ensure all store employees are reminded of our health and safety protocols.”

Carol was discharged from hospital on the same day of the incident, November 2, and has since been recovering.

She has a splint on her arm and bruising.

Carol said her mum was now “extremely wary” adding: “She’s a very healthy lady but this has knocked her more than I would have thought.”

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