A great-grandmother of 10 was left lying on a pavement outside Grantham Hospital for over an hour, after she tripped and fell.
Margaret Capon, 76, of Rochester Drive, Grantham, was attending an eye appointment with her daughter, Donna Brown, last Tuesday.
As she was leaving to get a parking ticket, she stumbled and fell backwards on to the raised pavement.
The Thames Valley Patient Transport Service saw what happened and raced to get help from the accident and emergency department, but was told that there was nothing staff could do and that they would have to call for an ambulance.
Donna said: “I was in shock. My mum was lying on the pavement directly outside the hospital doors, but I was told that there was nothing anyone in the hospital could do to help us.”
Donna phoned for an ambulance, who informed her that they were not able to give an estimated time of arrival.
“I was worried that we would be waiting for three or four hours,” she said. “Mum was very pale and rigid. She couldn’t lie straight due to the position in which she had fallen. She has had fractures in her back in the past, so I just wanted to get her some help quickly.”
A nurse from the hospital came out to check Margaret over and to give her a pillow and a blanket.
Members of the Thames Valley Patient Transport Service also stayed with Margaret until the ambulance arrived an hour later.
Paramedics assessed Margaret at the scene before discharging her to rest at home.
Donna added: “It was just a relief that it didn’t turn out to be anything more serious but I can’t believe that an ambulance had to be called for someone who was already in the hospital grounds – what about the cost? Since returning home, my mum has not been well all week and is in agony with her back. Something needs to change.”
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) Ambulance operations manager Richard Hunter said: “We received an emergency 999 call reporting a patient had fallen outside the outpatient department on the Grantham District Hospital site. Members of the Thames Valley Patient Transport Service were reported to be with the patient and were seeking support from Grantham Hospital staff to help assess and care for the patient. An emergency ambulance was requested and we arrived on scene at 3.08pm. Our ambulance crew assessed the patient and discharged on scene.”
Head of operations and clinical services at Grantham Hospital Maxine Hughes said: “We are sorry to hear of Mrs Capon’s fall outside Grantham Hospital. Unfortunately, at the time of her fall, staff in Grantham A&E were all occupied in treating patients in that department, and were not able to leave their patients to treat another patient elsewhere. Due to the nature of this incident an ambulance crew was required, as they are trained to assess the patient and are the best people to decide on when and how to move patients safely.”