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Saturday 24th August 2019

Two hour ambulance wait

9th February 2012

An elderly woman had to wait for almost two hours for an ambulance to arrive in Essex, even though she lived opposite a major hospital.


Irene Edwards, 86, fell and lay undiscovered for 21 hours at her home in Rectory Wood, near the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

When the pensioner was found by her son Roy and his wife Sue on Monday, they called 999 for an ambulance at 12.42pm. But it did not arrive to take her to hospital until 14.26pm.

She is now recovering in hospital from bruising and mild hypothermia.

The East of England Ambulance Service said the call was classed as “non-life threatening” as the initial report was of a woman in her 80s who had fallen and was suffering from back pain.

The service has now offered to discuss any concerns that family has after Mr and Mrs Edwards said they wanted an explanation over why there was such a long delay in the ambulance arriving.

Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: “We would be more than happy to discuss any concerns the patient and her family may have regarding our response to their call on Monday.”

Mrs Edwards said: “There's obviously a big problem somewhere in the system. I appreciate they are busy but for an urgent call to take an hour and 45 minutes for a lady who is 86 years old who had had a fall, with the potential for serious injuries, it's not good enough.”

Harlow’s Conservative MP Robert Halfon is to raise the matter with health chiefs.


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