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999 response criticised by victim of fall
A DISTRICT councillor who had to wait nearly 30 minutes for an ambulance after falling and hitting his head in Moreton said he is outraged his case was not categorised as more serious.
As previously reported, Moreton councillor Robert Dutton has a nasty fall while crossing the pedestrian crossing over the railway in the town on June 6 after canvassing with other councillors.
South Western Ambulance Service categorised the incident as a "non life-threatening" which required a 30-minute "Green 2" response.
Cllr Dutton was checked over at the scene and was advised to go the minor injuries unit at the North Cotswold Hospital, in Moreton, but was soon transferred to Cheltenham General after staff realised his condition was more serious.
But after spending seven days in hospital with an accelerated heartbeat, Cllr Dutton said the ambulance service should have responded quicker.
"I've just spent seven days in hospital and they say it's a minor injury," he said. "I was in the acute care ward and it was flashing a warning behind the nurses desk the whole time.
"I was lucky to get away with it. My heart went wrong, I think it was the shock of the fall. For the ambulance to say it was a 'Green 2' call is totally irresponsible."
Cllr Dutton said his experience had demonstrated it was "crystal clear" there was a "serious" problem with ambulance response times in the area.
Latest figures for Gloucestershire show the eight-minute emergency response target is being met in 69.4 per cent of cases but in the Cotswolds they are much lower, at just 46 per cent.
"We can't have other people in the North Cotswolds being treated in the same way," said Cllr Dutton. "We all pay our taxes and one of the important things is a competent NHS."
He added while he still felt in shock and extremely weak, he was expected to make a full recovery and praised the staff at both the minor injuries unit at Moreton and in Cheltenham.
A spokesman for South Western Ambulance ServiceNHS Foundation Trust said: "We have to prioritise the calls on the information we have at the time.
"While it was initially categorised as a Green 2, if he had deteriorated further then it would have been re-prioritised."
She added the case was now being investigated by the patient experience team.
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