A grandmother who waited more than an hour for an ambulance with a broken wrist blamed the ‘people on top’ for not giving enough funding to the emergency services.
Jean Krelle, 74, was watering her hanging baskets and enjoying the sunshine outside her house in Linnet Close, Wick, on Sunday, May 21, when she tripped and fell.
She broke her left wrist where her thumb joins her arm, and dislocated the bones in her left hand.
The grandmother’s face also swelled up and her hip was severely bruised.
Jean said her first thought was for her family: “All I could think was they don’t deserve this. They have been so marvellous to me; all my old neighbours said how lucky I was to have my family.”
Her son and daughter-in-law Matt and Tracey, who live next door, heard her hit the brickwork and pushed the panic button on her Careline personal alarm at 6.07pm.
As the minutes went by and two more calls to 999 were made by Matt and Tracey, doubts set in as to whether the ambulance would turn up at all – to the point where Jean’s son considered driving her to the hospital himself.
Matt, 47, said: “I kept thinking we need to get her some help and help clearly isn’t coming.”
After an hour of pain and tension, the paramedics arrived and took Jean to Worthing Hospital after treating her in her living room. The 74-year-old, who is now recovering at home, said the paramedics were ‘absolutely fantastic’ – but not the Government, which funds the ambulance service.
She said: “The paramedics are really pushing themselves and working hard, but it is the people at the top who need to give them more money.”
Matt added: “What is it going to take before the people who make the decisions realise it can’t carry on like this?”
Tracey, who works for the fire service, said she understood the pressures but still felt ‘frustrated’.
A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service said depsite their best efforts, patients in a ‘non-life-threatening condition’ could not always be reached immediately.
They added: “We are sorry that we were not able to respond more quickly on this occasion, however, on a very busy day, we did reach this patient within 62 minutes of the call.
“We continue to experience year-on-year increases in demand and are very proud of the efforts and professionalism of our staff in responding to this.”