Disabled woman’s upset at two-hour wait for ambulance

Lynn Golightly in the back lane of her home in Neville Road, Pallion.
Lynn Golightly in the back lane of her home in Neville Road, Pallion.
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A DISABLED woman waited two hours for an ambulance to turn up after a fall.

Pallion woman Lynn Golightly, 27, fell over at the back of her Neville Road home.

Lynn’s family called for an ambulance when the incident happened, at 4.20pm last Thursday.

But when by 6.20pm a crew hadn’t turned up, her parents, John and Linda, decided to order a taxi to transport their daughter to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“It’s a disgrace that I’d had to wait that long,” said Lynn, who bruised her left leg in the accident but was not seriously injured.

“After my mam and dad rang they kept ringing to see if it was going to turn up.”

Lynn, who often suffers from blackouts and is on Disability Living Allowance, added: “When it got to two hours later they decided to call for a taxi as it was getting ridiculous.

“One turned up and took me to the Royal.

“I got treated there but I’ve still been in pain since it happened.”

A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) said: “The ambulance service is an emergency service.

“Our priority is always cases where life may be in danger. If we are dealing with a number of cardiac arrests or people with serious injuries, those with lesser ailments may face a wait for a crew to become available.”

Lynn’s ordeal comes as it was revealed that thousands of North East patients have been left at the doors to accident and emergency departments over the past year because wards are too full to admit them.

Figures obtained by Labour show that over the past year, almost 300,000 patients in England were left in ambulances for more than 30 minutes.

In the North East, a total of 4,524 patients spent more than half an hour waiting, while 1,317 spent more than an hour waiting to be admitted.

The NEAS spokeswoman added: “While it’s good to know that hospital handover delays in the North East rank as one of the lowest in the country, we – and the hospitals – will not be resting on our laurels.

“It’s a fact of life that quick and smooth patient handovers are never reported in the media, which is fair enough, because there’s no news angle.

“However, looking solely through the prism of the media, it’s easy to see how public perceptions of how the ambulance service and local hospitals are performing can be skewed.”