A woman says she is disgusted because police officers had to take an injured pensioner to hospital half an hour after she called an ambulance.
Susan Fish witnessed the elderly woman fall and cut her face while walking in New Beacon Road. Miss Fish says the woman, who called herself Gillian and said she was 72 years old, was unconscious for a couple of minutes after the fall.
Miss Fish said: “It shook me to the core. She was swaying and I tried to rush to get to her. She smashed her head on the floor and badly cut her face.
“You would have thought a lady that age who had banged her head would be a priority. She was very, very confused. She was concussed.”
Miss Fish said that 30 minutes after calling for an ambulance last Thursday, a passing police car stopped to help and officers took Gillian to Grantham Hospital.
Miss Fish, of Range Road, Grantham, said : “Thank God the police were there. They were fantastic. They did what they had to do. I don’t blame the NHS. There are a lot of cuts going on.”
A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We are sorry we were not able to provide a prompt response on this occasion.
“Using information given to us by the caller, the 999 call was categorised as not life-threatening. However, it was clear that Gillian needed help and we planned to send an ambulance as quickly as possible.
“By chance, a police car passed by and stopped to offer assistance. After contacting our control room and being told about the delay, the officers decided to take Gillian to hospital. This is a good example of emergency services working in partnership and we are grateful for their help.
“We receive a new 999 call on average every 45 seconds (approximately 2,000 calls a day) and calls reporting life-threatening incidents have to take priority. We continue to advance our quality improvement programme, Better Patient Care, and as a result, continue to see progress in various areas of the service we provide, including improvements in our performance standards.”
Miss Fish says she has been told Gillian stayed in hospital overnight and later spent time in a care home to recover.