Ambulance took two hours to arrive

Ambulance criticism
Ambulance criticism

WIGAN’S ambulance service has been blasted after it took almost two hours for paramedics to get to the scene of a road accident.

A cyclist was knocked senseless and suffered a head injury when his bike careered out of control during Thursday evening’s rush hour on Pemberton Road, Winstanley, and crashed into a wall.

I realise the emergency services are busy but taking so long to get to the scene of an accident is just not on. What if he had suffered a brain injury? He might have died

Concerned witnesses immediately rang for the emergency services. And while police were soon on the scene and, fortunately, two passers-by who happened to be a doctor and nurse, tended to the casualty, there was no sign of an ambulance.

It appears that eventually someone took the unnamed cyclist to hospital in their car because they gave up waiting for the emergency vehicle.

For when it did turn up - an hour and three quarters after witnesses dialled 999 - there was no sign of him.

The North West Ambulance Service explained today that the vehicle originally earmarked to tend to the man was diverted to a higher priority incident en route and it was only later that a second vehicle was able to attend.

The condition of the casualty is not known.

But one onlooker today said: “You don’t take any risks with head injuries. There can be all sorts of delayed complications so urgent medical attention is important.

“When I came across the scene at about 6pm the accident had already happened some time earlier. There were several people round him, including a nurse I think, and the police were on the radio asking where on earth the ambulance had got to. He was lying on the pavement and someone said that he had been unconscious.

“It was only after 7.20pm that an ambulance arrived and it left about 25 minutes later.

“I realise the emergency services are busy but taking so long to get to the scene of an accident is just not on. What if he had suffered a brain injury? He might have died. You can only sometimes find out the extent of internal head injuries once at hospital.”

A North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: “A call was received at 17.35 and the incident was categorised as a Green 2, requiring a response of 30 minutes and an ambulance was dispatched.

“However, en route, this ambulance was redirected to attend to a higher priority ‘red’ life threatening call.

“The control centre were informed that the police were on the scene and a doctor and nurse were attending to the patient.

“Another ambulance was dispatched but when it arrived at 19.20, the patient was no longer on the scene and the crew were unable to locate them.

“If the patient would like to discuss this incident with us, we would urge them to contact us directly so we can respond to any concerns they may have.”

A police spokesman confirmed that officers were contacted at 5.45pm on Thursday with a report that a man on a pushbike had been involved in an accident on Pemberton Road near to its junction with Pine View and that a doctor and nurse were in attendance. It was confirmed that an ambulance arrived only at 7.20pm.