A son believes more could have been done'to help his mum after she suffered a stroke while in a support centre.

John Stoneman, from Toxteth, said his mum Barbara waited hours without a doctor or ambulance while being cared for at Brookfield Support Centre in St Helens.

The 57-year-old claims he received a phone call from staff at around 11.15am to tell him his 81-year-old mum had been unwell all morning and that they had called for an ambulance.

However, the North West Ambulance confirmed that they didn’t receive a call about Barbara until just after 11.45am.

John told the ECHO: "I’m absolutely furious because it could be the matter of her not getting better, the hospital have told me she’ll probably need 24 hour care now and they asked me whether I wanted her to be resuscitated if it came to that.

"We all know it’s critical that they are at the hospital as soon as possible with a stroke. I actually feel physically sick. "

Barbara Stoneman, 81, from St Helens

John said that when he was first made aware of his mum being unwell a staff member rang to say that they'd been "sitting with her all morning" because "she wasn't talking, her eyes were closed and her arm was twitching".

At this point, John claims he was told a doctor had been called for his mum when staff realised they "could not wake her" during the morning rounds.

St Helens Council, in a statement on the issue, said John's mum was not unconscious as she was responding to stimuli.

He said he has since learned that a doctor happened to be calling in for another patient and wasn’t actually called for his mum.

He said: "The situation is that she’s been lying there, the staff said to me 'I’ve been sat with her all morning her arm is twitching and she had been sitting with her all morning'.

"The doctor called in to see someone else and the staff asked if he could pop in to see my mum."

John added: "They phoned me about 11.15 to say that she was lying there, not moving, eyes closed and that the doctor had been called in and phoned the paramedics.

"So I was phoning every half hour for checks and we got to 12 o'clock and still no one had come.

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"And I thought, she’s been like that from around 9am or 9.30am, what’s happened, why has no one been?"

Due to the coronavirus restrictions John was not allowed to go and get her from the support centre.

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St Helens Borough Council, which runs the support centre, said that following Barbara’s hospitalisation they are looking into the case.

A spokesperson also said Mrs Stoneman was responding to stimuli and therefore was not unconscious.

A spokesperson said: "We have been in direct contact with Mr Stoneman to apologise for the emotional stress this must have caused and to assure that this matter will be looked into further."

North West Ambulance Service told the ECHO that they arrived within the allocated response time of two hours.

The response time is worked out by the category of the call. In Barbara’s case, the call was categorised as a level 3 based on what the caller told the ambulance service.

A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service said: "We’re sorry if Ms Stoneman’s family are unhappy with our response and would be pleased to look into this further if they would contact us directly. We do hope she makes a full recovery.

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"As with all 999 calls, we prioritise our response based on the severity of their condition. This is so we can allocate resources to make sure those who are in a critical condition get the help they need.

"We first received a call from the Brookfield Support Centre at 11:46am, and based on the information given to us by the caller, the call was categorised at level 3, which has a two hour response target. An NWAS ambulance subsequently arrived at 13:57, after travelling from the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

"We understand that waiting for an ambulance can be distressing, and we are sorry that we were unable to get to the patient as quickly as they would have liked. At present we are extremely busy and this weekend saw an increase of calls of 6% compared to the previous weekend.

"If Mrs Stoneman’s family would like to contact our patient safety team, we will be able to look into this further for them."