A PENSIONER with health problems was left sprawled on a pavement without medical attention for 45 minutes in blazing sunshine yesterday after she tripped and fell, because no ambulance crews were available to help her.
When a paramedic did turn up in a car Maureen Whitrick, 70, had to wait another 30 minutes for an ambulance to take her to hospital for medics to investigate a suspected broken collar bone, said her son Anthony Dixon.
While the retired print worker, of Churn Drive, Buttershaw, was on the ground her Mr Dixon said Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff gave advice by telephone that she should not be moved or given a drink.
A sympathetic observer had to take out an umbrella to shield her from the blazing afternoon sun following the accident in Fenwick Drive, Woodside, after she had attended a cafe in a community centre for lunch.
Mr Dixon said he now planned to complain to Yorkshire Ambulance Service about the time it took for his mother to get medical attention.
He also has concerns about the level of treatment the paramedic was able to offer when his mother when she went into an apparent panic attack during the incident. According to Mr Dixon, the only assistance offered was to encourage her to 'count' to try to alleviate the symptoms.
He told the Telegraph & Argus: "She was comping out of the cafe to go back to her car and looks to have tripped over a paving stone.
"We rang for an ambulance straight away but they could not tell us when they could despatch one because they were busy.
"She was on the floor in agony, she has only recently come out of hospital after gall stones and she also has a heart murmur.
"It looks like she has either broken her collar bone or has a dislocated shoulder but she was laying on the floor for more than an hour.
"There were people around trying to help but we were told not to move her and not to give her a drink until the ambulance came.
"Someone came along with a big umbrella to shelter her from the sun and the people from the cafe did their best to look after her," he said.
"I am disgusted with the NHS and will be complaining," said Mr Dixon.
Paul Mudd, locality director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We are sorry for the distress caused to the family following this 999 call.
“We would like to apologise for the delay experienced by Mr Dixon’s mother and can confirm that we are speaking to the family directly and looking into the incident further on their behalf.”