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Ipswich 97-year-old with broken hip left waiting seven hours for ambulance after fall at home

PUBLISHED: 08:12 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

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A 97-year-old woman from Ipswich who suffered a broken hip after a fall at her home had to wait seven hours for an ambulance because of stretched paramedics services.

Winifred Flaxman suffered a fall while cleaning at her home in Bluebell Close, Chantry, on Wednesday morning.

She managed to hobble to a kitchen chair and alert her neighbour, who came round to help out.

The pair realised the 97-year-old was in considerable pain, and called an ambulance at around 10.05am.

But despite having broken her hip and being unable to walk or move properly, paramedics were unable to arrive until after 5pm – more than seven hours after first calling.

Daughter Liz Coy, 53, a lorry driver who was in Corby at the time of the incident, said: “I am so shocked. To know she was in that much pain is not good enough.

“Something should be said and done – not just for my mother but for others.”

She added: “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.”

The ambulance service did make regular calls to check how Ms Flaxman had been getting on, and monitoring whether there was any change in her condition.

During the initial emergency call, the operator also explained that there was a high number of callouts and that they would endeavour to get an ambulance to Ms Winifred as soon as possible.

But Mrs Coy said it was the responsibility of the government to make sure services were in place to ensure frontline services which people depended on were in place.

“I think someone needs to take that into consideration – the ambulance service is stretched but they should not be working like that when you really need them to come and help,” she added.

Ms Flaxman remained in hospital yesterday where she was undergoing surgery on her hip.

A spokesman from the East of England Ambulance Service, which runs the ambulances in the region, said the trust had been alerted to the incident and was investigating it.

A spokesman was unavailable for further comment.

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