Ambulance service apologise after injured elderly lady’s long wait on Grantham pavement

Catherine Allen, 66, waits for ambulance on Grantham High Street.
Catherine Allen, 66, waits for ambulance on Grantham High Street.
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East Midlands Ambulance Service have apologised after a 66-year-old woman was left lying injured on Grantham High Street for over an hour and a half yesterday.

Catherine Allen fell as she was making her way down the High Street at around 3.15pm. Landing on her left side outside Catlins Restaurant, she suffered pain in her ribs and was unable to move.

The restaurant staff made an emergency call, but over an hour and a half later Catherine was still laid on the ground outside in the rain and cold.

Mrs Allen said: “It is very unusual for them to have taken so long. I’ve had to call for ambulances before when I’ve been at home, as I suffer from mini strokes. They have never taken that long before.

“An ambulance went past while I was there, but its emergency lights were on so it must have had somewhere else to go,” she added.

The public though were quick to respond, with two men walking nearby helping Mrs Allen when they saw her fall. Catlins’ staff also provided a cushion and even wrapped her in tablecloths and coats in an attempt to keep her warm. Good Samaritan Andrew Anderson held an umbrella over her that had been provided by estate agents William H Brown.

Two police officers driving by also stopped, wrapped Mrs Allen in a foil blanket, and called control twice themselves for an ambulance. However they continued to wait with her for another 50 minutes, describing it as ‘outrageous’.

Just before 5pm an ambulance did arrive and Mrs Allen was taken to Grantham Hopsital, where it was identified that she had bruised ribs and a chest infection. She has since returned to her home on Union Street.

“I would like to thank everyone very much for their help. I am very grateful,” she added.

Many who saw Mrs Allen while she was waiting on the pavement took to our Facebook page to express their anger. Amanda Brunton said: “I passed this lady collapsed on the cold wet ground at 3.40pm this afternoon and was disgusted she was still there an hour later and still no ambulance in sight!”

A spokesperson for EMAS said: “Our response to this incident has clearly fallen short of the high standard our patients should expect. We are very sorry about that and would like to offer our apologies to Catherine. We also hope she is recovering from her injuries.

“We are now looking into the reasons for the delay and once the facts are known, will be contacting Catherine direct to provide her with an open and honest explanation.”