Hip agony after op error

Wrightington Hospital main entrance and reception
Wrightington Hospital main entrance and reception

THE ambulance service and Wrightington Hospital have come under fire after a pensioner was left in agony after a hip operation went wrong.

Nora Ball was left in severe pain following a complication with a hip replacement that was carried out at Wrightington Hospital.

She was then refused an ambulance after her husband rang to ask for help.

Ken Ball - a Chorley councillor - says he is going to make a formal complaint about the ambulance service’s patient waiting times.

He also criticised its telephone operators, claiming they are not medically trained to make decisions about whether someone needs an ambulance urgently or whether they can wait.

Coun Ball said: “Two weeks back my wife had a new hip at Wrightington Hospital.

“On Wednesday night, the ball came out of the joint. She was in that much pain, we phoned the ambulance up.

“An operator said it wasn’t serious enough to get an ambulance out.

“She said ‘I’ll get a triage nurse to phone you back’ and said ‘if you need an ambulance it’s going to be three hours’.

“I phoned the doctor who said there’s nothing he could do. I told the ambulance service it’s an emergency.

“I phoned back and said if she moves a fraction of an inch she screams in pain. They then sent an ambulance out.

“The paramedics were here one-and-a-quarter hours giving her morphine before they could move her. My wife’s still in hospital in Wigan.

“She’s had the ball put back in the socket.

“The ball part had come out and gone up her leg, so it’s no wonder she was in such pain.

“How many more people go through this, I don’t know.

“I’m going to make a complaint. I think it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said; “When a 999 call is received, the level of response is determined by the condition of the patient at the time.

“We prioritise all calls to ensure we get medical help to patients who have serious, life threatening injuries or illnesses as quickly as possible.

“We apologise if there was any distress caused to the family while going through this prioritisation process.”