Ambulance wait blasted

March 2006 aerial view.'Warton Street, Lytham. PIC BY ROB  LOCK'Page 6
March 2006 aerial view.'Warton Street, Lytham. PIC BY ROB LOCK'Page 6
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A man who lay unconscious on the floor in the cold after being run over by a car had to wait nearly an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

Neighbours on the street who came to the man’s rescue and have been praised for their help and response to the accident.

The incident happened on Warton Street, Lytham at 8.40pm on Sunday evening.

One resident on Warton Street, said: “The ambulance took about an hour to arrive, he’s lucky he didn’t contract hypothermia.

“If it wasn’t for the residents of Warton Street getting blankets for him and keeping him warm then things could have got a lot worse.

“That’s not to say that the paramedics weren’t brilliant, they do the best they can under the circumstances.

“The police were there straight away, followed by the rapid response unit 30 minutes later and then the ambulance services.”

Lancashire County Councillor for Lytham, Tim Ashton has said the response time is “dreadful”.

He said: “I cannot believe how long it has taken for an ambulance to arrive, it’s absolutely dreadful for it take 50 minutes for someone unconscious to be reached in Lytham.

“If it wasn’t for the actions of residents on the street then things could have been much worse.

“I will be making sure to ask the authorities on why it took so long and to try get assurances this won’t happen again.

A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust said that the reason for the delay in the ambulance getting to the scene was due to unpredictable amount of high calls at the time.

He said: “We understand that waiting for an ambulance can be a distressing time.

“We received an emergency ‘999’ call at 20.40 on Sunday 1 March. At the same time, we were dealing with a high number of calls in the area.

“Between 28 February 2015 and 1 March 2015, we have seen a 3.8 per cent increase in the number of ‘999’ calls received around the Lytham area when compared to the same weekend in 2014.

“For the Lytham area, we had 365 ‘999’ emergency calls in 2014.

“For the same area in 2015 we had 379 ‘999’ emergency calls.

Coun Mark Bamforth was one person at the scene that came out to help.

He said that residents made sure the injured man kept as comfortable as possible.

Coun Bamforth said: “The ambulance took between 45 minutes to an hour to arrive, but people came out their houses to help.

“The man got knocked over by the car but wasn’t responding on the floor.”

Despite the man laying unconscious on the road, North West Ambulances would not treat the incident as the highest priority in their response to calls.

A spokesman added:”All 999 calls are categorised within the control rooms, based on the information given by the caller, to ensure that patients are prioritised on the basis of medical need.

“Although the service strives to attend to every patient as quickly as possible, those with serious, life threatening conditions require a more urgent response.

“Therefore, the Red One (immediately life-threatening) incidents must be our priority.

“This incident was upgraded to a ‘Red 2’ at 20.59 after information received by us at this time warranted the need to escalate our response.”

Red One calls refer to people who are suffering cardiac arrests and respiratory problems and make up approximately 10 per cent of the trust’s emergency calls.

Red Two calls are categorised as serious but not an immediate threat to life, when someone suffers a stroke or is unconsciousness.

The spokesman for North West Ambulances was also only able to confirm the pedestrian “suffered two small lacerations to the face” but not able to confirm whether or not the pedestrian was unconscious.

The spokesman said: “We were called to a collision between a car and pedestrian at 8.59pm on Sunday evening.

“The ambulance arrived on the scene at 9.46pm and took the injured male to Royal Preston Hospital.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We were made aware of a serious road traffic collision at 8.40pm on Sunday evening involving a pedestrian being knocked over by a car.

“The road next to the junction at West Cliffe was closed for just more than two hours.

“A 36-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious head injuries and the woman driving the vehicle has not been arrested but inquiries into the how the crash happened will continue.”

The ambulance trust is commissioned to attend to 95 per cent of Red One and Red Two calls within 19 minutes.

The trust is commissioned to hit the targets yearly for the whole of the North West rather than individual counties.

Currently the North West Ambulance Trust answers 75 per cent of these red calls within eight minutes and 95 per cent of these calls within 19 minutes.

The spokesman for the North West Ambulance Trust added: “If the family wishes to contact us, we will be able to talk to them about any concerns they had with the service they received.”