Son’s anguish after Mistley woman, 93, waited almost six hours for ambulance to arrive

Isobel 'Peggy' Garrad, who waited almost six hours for an ambulance to arrive, pictured with great g

Isobel 'Peggy' Garrad, who waited almost six hours for an ambulance to arrive, pictured with great grandson Quintin. She died on January 5. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

A 93-year-old woman waited almost six hours for an ambulance after suffering a fall in Mistley, her son has claimed.

Isobel 'Peggy' Garrad when she was younger. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Isobel 'Peggy' Garrad when she was younger. Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

Isobel ‘Peggy’ Garrad, who died in hospital last week, suffered a fall in her bedroom on December 10.

Her carers phoned for an ambulance at 12.45pm but paramedics did not arrive until 6.30pm, five hours and 45 minutes after the initial call.

Her son David, who rushed to help, phoned the service again at 4.45pm asking about the delay.

He claims one of the ambulance workers who arrived to help his mother told him someone had “been a bit naughty” and cancelled the original call to “improve their figures”.

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance (stock image). Picture: SIMON PARKER

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance (stock image). Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

Mr Garrad, who is preparing to file an official complaint, said: “I just wish someone explained why there was a delay.

“I am gravely disappointed with how my mother was treated, we waited for five and a half hours, nearly six hours for the ambulance to arrive.

Most Read

“When the actual crew got there they were great, I can’t fault their care.

“There was something that worried me, one of them said to me that and I quote, ‘They’ve been a bit naughty here, they have logged the request as 16.45 and cancelled the original to help their figures’.

“With that said and what happened that day I think something really needs to be said, because the whole system is not working.

“Yes it’s creaking, yes it’s under pressure but I feel my mother was let down.

He added: “I feel like if she was seen by someone more quickly, she could have been treated at home and perhaps even not have to have gone to hospital.

“She died from hospital infections, chest sepsis and pneumonia, in the end.”

Ambulance bosses said they would be investigating and apologised for distress caused to her family as a result of the wait.

A spokesman added: “The delay in an ambulance arriving was due to demand on the service owing to adverse weather conditions on December 10.

“Snow crippled the region and while the trust declared an internal major incident to do all it could to deliver its services to the public, it still experienced some severe delays.

“The trust would like to apologise for any distress caused to the patient’s family as a result of the wait and would urge them to get in contact to further address any complaint.

“The trust will be investigating this incident.”

The news comes just days after a woman died at a home in Clacton after a four-hour ambulance delay.

The 81-year-old dialled 999 at around 8pm on January 1 with chest pains but paramedics did not arrive until 11.46pm.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter