90-year-old in pain for three hours

Kathleen Smith and her grand-daughter Vicky Smith.
Kathleen Smith and her grand-daughter Vicky Smith.

A 90-year old woman from Bolton-le-Sands had to wait almost three and half hours for an ambulance in agonising pain after she fell and broke her leg.

Kathleen Smith fell over in her bathroom on November 4, and suffered a fractured neck of femur.

Her son, Terry Smith, said his mother had to sit and shake in pain and shock until an ambulance finally arrived from Preston, to take her to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Mr Smith said an ambulance only arrived following a desperate call to say that his mother’s condition was deteriorating.

Mrs Smith spent two weeks recovering in hospital, but her son has slammed North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) for its poor response time on the night.

He has asked for a review of the organisation’s operational situation.

He said: “This persistent situation is clearly not being addressed effectively and the solution is almost certainly not better training or recruitment.

“The calibre of paramedics and ambulance staff who eventually attended was superb.

“Their dedication and professionalism clearly visible and beyond reproach.

“No words can convey our thanks or gratitude to them.

“The much publicised ambulance waiting time at the RLI does not seem to have influenced this occurrence directly, admission was completed promptly.”

“The elderly citizens of the bay area deserve an explanation as to why they are systematically being given the lowest priority.

“Exactly what funding stream from where is the major issue so they may seek support from local politicians to secure a lasting resolution.”

A spokeswoman for the NWAS said: “The Trust offers its sincere apologies for the distress that was caused for the patient or her family whilst waiting for an ambulance.

“We are currently undertaking a full investigation into this incident and the reasons for the delay.

“Once this is complete, we shall share our findings with the family.”