October 23rd, 2012
A cyclists, who broke his hip in an accident, was forced to spend two hours lying at the side of a road because their weren’t any ambulances available to take him to hospital.
Police ended up flagging down a furniture van to transport him to the hospital for treatment.
The 36-year-old said that his experience reminded him of the healthcare he received while he was living in Africa and said he was the victim of unacceptable budget cuts in the NHS.
“The paramedics realised I’d either broken my hip or my leg. They said they couldn’t transport me in the back of the car with those kind of injuries so they called for an ambulance, but they were told there were none available,” he said.
“I was there for a long time – two hours – and in a lot of pain because I have a low resting heartbeat which means I couldn’t be given morphine. It was raining and I was getting really cold and shivery.
“The paramedics were really kind and professional and caring but they were all saying this was ludicrous and down to budget cuts.”
In their despair the paramedics called for an air ambulance but their nearest one could not take off due to high winds. They then contacted a second helicopter in Norfolk but it couldn’t land in the road and ended up touching down miles away.
Police then flagged down a furniture van to transport the rider to the helicopter.
“The driver was a bit wary because he was delivering a table to Sir Alan Sugar and he was worried about being late, but he was really good and took me to the helicopter,” the rider said.
He was eventually airlifted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he received emergency treatment for for his broken hip and spent five days recovering before being discharged.
A spokesperson for the East England Ambulance Service said, “Ambulance crews at the scenes of any incidents have to think quickly on their feet and make rapid decisions to treat and stabilise their patients.
“On this occasion, the crews were aware the ambulance en route to them was diverted to a more life threatening call so the decision was to utilise a vehicle to assist them to get the patient to the awaiting aircraft.”
“Crews often commandeer vehicles to help transport their patients to awaiting helicopters.”
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