Woman, 85, has 'appalling' three hour wait for ambulance

Thirteen ambulance staff were referred to the police in a sexual harassment probe, a CQC report reve

Thirteen ambulance staff were referred to the police in a sexual harassment probe, a CQC report reveals Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

People in Needham Market have spoken of their concern after an 85-year-old woman was left laying partially in the road for three-and-a-half hours as she waited for an ambulance. 

Zoe Chaplin, 28, spotted the women face down in Barrett's Lane, off Needham Market High Street, on Friday afternoon and said she had no idea how long she had been there. 

Miss Chaplin an equestrian worker, who lives in nearby Stowmarket, spotted the women at around 3.30pm on Friday, October, 8 and helped her by placing a jumper under her head. 

Barrets Lane Needham Market

The elderly woman fell in Barrett's Lane in Needham Market - she had blood on her head and sustained bruising - Credit: Google Maps

After leaving the woman being cared for by a first responder, Miss Chaplin was "shocked" to find she was still in the same position when she drove back down Barrett's Lane at 5.30pm when it was starting to get dark. 

The mum-of-two said: "It really upset me to see she was still there, I was so shocked I couldn't believe it, there was blood on her head and she was in the road."


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She asked: "Would she have been left laying there if it was freezing cold or raining?"

In the Needham Market Town Facebook group, first responders were thanked for sitting with the lady whilst she waited for the ambulance.

Amazon driver Oli Walker was praised for the way he used colourful parcel bags to cordon off the area of Barrett's Lane where the women was lying, he was also the person that called the ambulance. 

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Mr Walker, who lives in Gorleston-on-Sea said: "I was told it could take anything up to eight hours for a crew to get to us. With that we were told to sit tight, make sure she was comfortable and keep the area around her safe."

He added: "I understand that ambulance crews and the NHS are under increasing amounts of pressure due to staffing, wages and demand, alongside the incredible work they are doing during the pandemic.

"But for an 85-year-old lady who had sustained a head injury to wait three-and-a-half hours for an ambulance is appalling."

A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance service said: "At the time we received this call we were experiencing very high demand for 999 services for patients with immediately life-threatening injuries and illnesses, which unfortunately meant that some patients had longer waits.

“At 3.51pm the caller advised us that the patient was in a safe position. We would welcome those involved to contact us directly so we can look into any concerns they may have.”


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