Great Britain

Dementia sufferer, 90, left waiting for ambulance with suspected broken hip for 17 hours

London Ambulance Service can cope with pressure insists CEO

Jean Burgess suffered a painful fall while walking to her room at Trinity Lodge care home in Coventry, resulting in staff calling an ambulance over fears of moving her and worsening any potential injuries. After making the 999 call at 10.30am on July 20, paramedics finally attended the care home at 3.45am the following day - leaving the 90-year-old waiting for 17 hours and 15 minutes.

The retired lollipop lady was forced to wet herself while waiting for the ambulance to arrive as they attended other emergencies.

Once she was at the hospital, it was confirmed that she had suffered severe bruising but no broken bones.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said delays were caused after responding to more than 6,000 call-outs during last Tuesday's heatwave.

Mrs Burgess’ son-in-law, Peter Garbett, said: “Because she had been on the floor for so long, she couldn’t get to the toilet. I was with her on the floor when she wet herself.

Woman

Jean Burgess was left waiting for 17 hours. (Image: Peter Garbett | SWNS)

Ms Burgess' family were enraged by the delay. (Image: Peter Garbett | SWNS)

“She was a child evacuee during the war and to now think she is in this position was very upsetting.

“While the 17-hour wait was unacceptable, I am not out to blame either the care home or West Midlands Ambulance Service.

“The care home staff followed all their procedures and supported her as best they could.”

Mr Garbett, a retired postman, was at the theatre when the care home called him to tell him about his mother-in-law’s fall.

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Woman

The 90-year-old was thought to have a broken hip. (Image: Peter Garbett | SWNS)

Family

West Midlands Ambulance Service has now "apologised wholeheartedly” to the family. (Image: Peter Garbett | SWNS)

He added: “Whilst I understand the West Midlands Ambulance Service are under a great amount of pressure, why couldn’t they have arranged for the fire brigade come out to help? Or at least sent a first aid responder.

“Maybe it wasn’t an emergency because it wasn’t life threatening at the time but it was a humanitarian service that was required.”

Mrs Burgess has been living in the care home since the death of her husband Tom in December 2019, after 74 years of marriage.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has now "apologised wholeheartedly” to the family.

A spokesperson said: “We continue to sigh high levels of demand for our service and our staff are working tirelessly to get to patients as quickly as possible.”

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