Woman left waiting nearly two hours on Luton street for ambulance

Two kind Luton samaritans helped an elderly lady who had taken a nasty fall, as they were left waiting almost two hours for an ambulance.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 9:00 am
Farley Hill Chemist where Lesley works. Credit: Google Maps.

On Tuesday, December 5, Lesley Green, 63, of Farley Hill chemist, and a male passer-by helped a 70-year-old lady who had fallen to the floor and hurt her shoulder outside the Market Square chemist.

Lying on the concrete and unable to move, the injured woman from Newport Pagnell was comforted by the kind pair, as, despite several calls to the emergency services, an ambulance didn’t arrive until nearly 120 minutes after her tumble.

Lesley Greene, counter assistant, who has been praised by her colleagues, said: “I didn’t actually see it happen - somebody came into the shop to see if we could assist and I went outside and saw that she was lying on her back.

“I stayed with her and kept her warm and a man was already out there. He held her hand and was taking her pulse. He knew when she was getting a wave of pain as her pulse would go.

“We did it together. We sat and held her hand and tried to help her through her pain.

“I got my colleagues’ coats to keep her warm and our pharmacist brought out a hot water bottle.

“The lady must have hurt her shoulder and there was pain going to her elbow and wrist. The accident happened between 1.45pm and 2.15pm and the first call was made around that time. It was at 4ish when the ambulance turned up. They just hadn’t got one available.”

Another eyewitness said: “I just don’t understand how a woman of 70 could be left with injuries for hours?

“One gentleman stayed with her the time holding her hand and talking to her. The ladies from the chemist shop where fantastic with her.”

Lesley and the witness also praised Bedfordshire Police PCSOs who were at the scene, claiming they made repeated 999 calls to try and hurry an ambulance to the scene but to no avail.

However, Lesley is not angry with the ambulance service. She claims: “ I can understand people getting cross, but it’s just one of those things, well it’s just the way things are.

“We can’t blame them (the crew), as they are all overworked; they haven’t got the manpower.

“Everything is always being cut. The paramedics took the lady into the ambulance for privacy and gave her painkillers.”

A Bedfordshire Police spokeswoman, said: “We’re pleased the PCSOs were able to assist the lady following her fall.

“This is just one example of the way in which our PCSOs go above and beyond on a daily basis to help members of the community.”

An East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust spokesman, said: “We’d like to apologise to the patient for any distress caused by the wait. As a result of high demand on that day, we had to prioritise the most life-threatened patients and were not able to immediately dispatch anyone to the scene. We received more than 150 emergency calls in the Luton area on December 5.

“An ambulance crew attended at 3.58pm and took the patient to Luton and Dunstable Hospital for further care. We hope she is making a strong recovery and would urge her or her family to get in touch with the Trust directly so that we can answer any questions or concerns.”