A WORRIED mum was left stunned after she called for an ambulance to take her poorly teenage daughter to hospital – only for a taxi to turn up instead.
Hazel Laddie became concerned when daughter Charlotte, 19, started vomiting and complaining of crippling stomach pains at their Silksworth home.
After calling the 111 helpline and speaking to a doctor over the phone, Charlotte’s symptoms got worse. Mrs Laddie decided to take action and call for an ambulance so that she could be taken to hospital.
However, to her surprise, a taxi turned up at the house.
The driver said he had been sent to transport Charlotte to Sunderland Royal Hospital for treatment.
When he realised how bad Charlotte was, he called 999 himself and an ambulance eventually turned up 10 minutes later.
Mrs Laddie, 48, of Dene Street, said: “I just couldn’t believe it.
“I saw the taxi outside and went to tell him to move because an ambulance could be coming, and he just said ‘I’ve been sent here to take her to hospital’.
“It wouldn’t have been suitable for her. A taxi isn’t big enough and what if her appendix burst on the way?
“When the paramedics turned up, they had never heard of anything like a taxi driver been sent out.
“They were able to check her pulse and her levels with the machines, which obviously a taxi driver wouldn’t have been able to do.”
Charlotte, who studies at Sunderland’s Bede College, was diagnosed with appendicitis and has since had her appendix removed in an operation at the Royal.
She is recovering at home but caught an infection following the procedure and has had to miss a college exam.
The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) say the incident, which happened on Thursday, June 26, is being investigated.
A spokeswoman for NEAS said: “Clearly it seems something did go wrong here with the transport arrangements, and we would like to apologise to the patient and her family.
“We have referred the incident to our complaints department and will be carrying out an investigation.”