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East of England Ambulance Service explains seven-hour delay getting to Ipswich 97-year-old with broken hip

PUBLISHED: 15:36 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 29 September 2017

Winifred Flaxman, 97, waited seven hours for an ambulance after breaking her hip during a fall at her home in Ipswich. Picture: LIZ COY

Winifred Flaxman, 97, waited seven hours for an ambulance after breaking her hip during a fall at her home in Ipswich. Picture: LIZ COY


Ipswich MP Sandy Martin has said frontline services must be given financial support to stop people suffering after a 97-year-old woman had to wait several hours for an ambulance despite breaking her hip.

On Wednesday morning, Winifred Flaxman had a fall at home in Bluebell Close, Ipswich, causing her to suffer a broken hip.

The family said her neighbour phoned an ambulance at around 10.05am, but despite her age and the considerable pain she was in, an ambulance was not able to get to her until around 5pm.

While the East of England Ambulance Service said they were called shortly after 11am and arrived at 4.51pm, they recognised there had been a significant delay, put down to having nearly 20 other life-threatening calls.

A spokesman from the trust said: “At around the same time that morning, we were handling nearly 20 other life-threatening incidents in the Ipswich area, the highest category of calls, and nearly 940 calls in the area throughout the day. We would encourage the patient and her family to make contact with us to further discuss this incident.”

The spokesman added that Ms Flaxman’s condition was not life-threatening, and made follow up calls to check on her condition.

Liz Coy, 53, daughter of Ms Flaxman said: “I think they [paramedics] are absolutely marvellous for what they do, and I don’t blame them, but this cannot keep going on – people’s lives are at risk, not just my mother’s but everybody’s.”

Ms Flaxman remained in hospital yesterday where doctors were waiting for the swelling in her knee to go down before they could carry out surgery.

But Ipswich MP Sandy Martin has said the incident serves as proof that cuts to public spending could not carry on while people were at risk.

He said: “Right from 2010 the Conservatives claimed that their cuts to public spending were ‘efficiency savings’ which would not damage frontline services.

“Now the pigeons are coming home to roost – our ambulance staff, NHS staff, teachers, police, are all squeezed and however hard they work they cannot deliver the level of service that they want because there are just not enough of them.

“It’s time to recruit, to pay the workforce properly, and to make sure they’ve got the financial support that they need – otherwise we’ll all suffer.”

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