Drinker, 96, lying in pool of blood faced 'several hours' wait for ambulance

A 96-year-old man lying in a pool of blood from a head wound outside a Stoke-on-Trent pub faced having to wait 'several' hours for an ambulance. Staff and regulars rushed to the aid of the OAP and a 999 call was made when he fell outside The Park Inn, in Dresden, after his 'customary' two half-pints of bitter.

But a 999 call-handler warned it could be 'several hours' before an ambulance could reach the stricken patient. Instead a passer-by took the man to the Royal Stoke University Hospital by car.

Now the case has been reported to Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton.

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In a letter to the MP, Kevin Burton, from Longton, states: "We had a 96-year-old gentleman lying on a cold concrete floor, in pain, and bleeding badly from a head wound. Luckily, a lady stopped her car to see if she could offer assistance.

"The incident could have had a far unhappier ending. This man could have been concussed, had a fracture to his head, or had damage to his arms or legs. Moving him was a risk that had to be taken as he would soon have been suffering from hyperthermia.

"Can you please explain how our emergency services are in such a dire state that a 96-year-old gentleman cannot expect medical help for hours when lying on a cold concrete floor and with blood running from a cut to his head? Please do not try to shift the blame for the state of our emergency services after 14 years in power. Please use your elected parliamentary power to ensure that this scenario will not be allowed to happen again."

West Midlands Ambulance Service has confirmed it received the 999 call at 11.11pm on 14 April. It accepts telling the caller that an ambulance could have taken 'several hours' to attend. However, two ambulances had already been dispatched to the incident when a second 999 call was made at 11.22pm to inform the ambulance service that the man had been taken to hospital.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “We can confirm that we received a 999 call at 11.11pm on 14 April to reports of an elderly patient who had fallen on Carlisle Street. Based on the information provided, the call was triaged as a category 2 call. Due to hospital handover delays, we alerted the caller that it could be ‘several’ hours before we were able to respond. We have taken the difficult decision to let callers know how long it might be before an ambulance becomes available based on feedback from serious incidents, patient feedback, and comments from groups such as Healthwatch.

“We were then informed at 11.22pm that someone was able to take the patient to hospital who was already at the scene. Two ambulances, which had been dispatched to the incident, were subsequently stood down.”

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