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Monday, 20 October 2014

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More cases of elderly waiting for treatment in Millom

MORE shocking cases of elderly patients waiting in agony for up to an hour have emerged after an outcry over ambulance coverage in Millom.

Audrey Preston, 83, of Devonshire Road, was left lying in the rain on January 23 after a breaking her left leg in a fall, and had to be kept warm by passers-by for up to an hour. Since the Evening Mail published Mrs Preston’s story similar incidents have been revealed.

Councillor Ray Cole, of Millom Town Council, has been contacted by the family of an elderly woman who waited an hour near Tesco, in Lancashire Road, with a triple fracture the same week as Mrs Preston's fall.

Another case involved a woman in The Hill, near Millom, waiting at her home for around an hour before Christmas last year after a fall.

Cllr Cole said: “This is not a dig at the paramedics in any shape or form but there’s something wrong here. Obviously there are lots of questions to be answered.”

Mrs Preston had been walking with her sister in Newton Street when her leg gave way.

Son-in-law, the Reverend Bryan Rowe of St Michael’s Church, Workington, said he had serious concerns about the situation. He said: “It was very cold and wet and this poor woman was just lying in the road.”

Mr Rowe and Mrs Preston’s daughter, Sheila Rowe, were called by a neighbour and set off for Barrow. He said: “I had to call off a meeting and get some things together but the crazy thing was even after all that and travelling from Workington we still beat the ambulance to Furness General Hospital.”

Mr Rowe says he was told by a paramedic the delay was because one ambulance is based in Millom, and that had been despatched to a job in Barrow. This meant an ambulance from Barrow was sent to treat Mrs Preston before returning to FGH.

He said: “We have no qualms at all with the paramedics or the treatment she received in A&E, but the problem is ambulance coverage in Millom.”

Cllr Cole, who is requesting information from the North West Ambulance Service about the issue, said: “I understand the call centre is based in Preston and I am concerned about a lack of geographical knowledge. They will say their staff prioritise calls but I would suggest an elderly lady lying in the cold is a priority. This has serious implications for Millom. We want to know how many times this has happened.”

Cllr Cole urged anyone knowing of a similar case to get in touch by emailing theclerkmtc@aol.com or calling 01229 772340. NWAS did not respond before the Evening Mail went to press.

Have your say

Over 20 yrs ago my husband was knocked from his push bike and died 5 days later. Another man had a heart attack and he had to wait another hour for an ambulance from Dalto

Posted by dorothy bailey on 10 February 2014 at 13:58

This is appalling, people of that age could die of shock, lying on a street in the cold and wet they could quickly loose body temperature, what on earth is going on in Cumbria? Deep cuts to emergency services who is going to be prosecuted when lives are lost? I was in Market Rasen last year and they operate a fast response team of paramedics there during the few hours I spent there I witnessed them attending 2 elderly persons one who had fallen and one who unfortunately could not be resuscitated, but the reponse was very fast, a few minutes and they were quickly followed up by ambulances. Perhaps Cumbria should look at these fast response paramedics, they also need to get this lack of Ambulances sorted. I believe Barrow only had 2 now, and going down to 1 fire engine. how are they supposed to cope?

Posted by June on 8 February 2014 at 14:52

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