Headteacher slams poor ambulance response times

Callum Fisher

Callum Fisher

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A headteacher has hit out at ‘concerning’ ambulance response times after a pupil with a broken arm had to wait 90 minutes for one to arrive.

Market Rasen De Aston School pupil Callum Fisher was in extreme pain after he broke his arm in two places during a PE lesson.

The nature of the 13-year-old’s injury meant he could not be taken to hospital by LIVES first responders - so he was left to suffer.

Headteacher Ellenor Beighton said: “Over the last year we have noticed a delay in response times which is becoming an increasing concern.

“Fortunately there have not been any life-threatening injuries.

“However, on previous occasions, we have experienced similar delays with suspected serious injuries such as those to the back or neck. The waiting time must effect the prognosis of some conditions.

“We have excellent first responders but it seems that the ambulances are travelling from too great a distance to be able to adequately serve.

“The ambulance response time in a medical emergency makes you think twice about coming to live in a rural area.”

Callum’s mum Pilar is furious and said something needs to change.

She said: “The system is not working. It was extremely frustrating. He was in so much pain and there was nothing that could be done.”

An East Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We received the 999 call at 15:18 on Tuesday 7 May and using the information provided to us by the caller, categorised the call as not life-threatening. For this type of call, we aim to get on scene within 30 minutes

“Our Fast Response Vehicle arrived 16 minutes after the call was received and, therefore, 14 minutes inside the performance standard.

“Due to the nature of the injury, it wasn’t possible for the casualty to be taken to hospital in the Fast Response Vehicle and so a back-up double crew ambulance was requested. This arrived on scene at 16:32.

“We are sorry we were unable to get the back-up vehicle there earlier, this was due to us having no other vehicles available in the immediate vicinity.

“We accept our performance needs to be better and our aim is to improve response times, patient care and the working life of our staff through delivery of our ‘Being the Best’ improvement plan. We believe these changes; together with the additional investment we’ve received from our commissioners; will allow us to achieve our aims.

“To help the emergency ambulance service manage demand, people suffering a minor illness or injury are urged to seek treatment from the right NHS service. Treatment can be gained from minor injury units or urgent care centres which can be accessed via a relative, friend or taxi providing transport. NHS Choices provides details of local services via www.nhs.uk and the type of illness or injury that they can deal with.”