87-year-old made to wait 90 minutes for an ambulance

Eliza Tait, who was left waiting on an ambulance for 90 minutes with a fractured pelvis and serious cuts to her eye.
Eliza Tait, who was left waiting on an ambulance for 90 minutes with a fractured pelvis and serious cuts to her eye.

A son has hit out at ambulance chiefs after his badly-injured elderly mother was left waiting 90 minutes for an ambulance.

Eliza Tait fell on Bedlington Main Street, fracturing her pelvis and badly damaging her eye.

But despite kind passersby calling for an ambulance, the 87-year-old had to wait for 90 minutes for it to arrive.

Her son Malcolm said: “She was lying on the pavement at the crossing outside the Market Tavern public house and in a very bad way.

“I found her lying next to the traffic lights with blood pouring from an eye injury and in great pain with several people attempting to help her, which was greatly appreciated.

“One person, Sean Mills, had already phoned for an ambulance at 3.50pm and was informed they were very busy but one was on its way.

“Two further phon calls were made and at 5pm I flagged two police officers down who came to the scene and they could not believe how long the call had taken.

“One of the officers immediately rang their control and tried to escalate the response, and at 5.25pm the ambulance arrived.

“To say I am angry about this incident would be a huge understatement, I am appalled that an anybody, not just my mother, should be left lying in the street for 90 minutes waiting for an ambulance.

“Thank you to all the people who did help, and to Ian Lavery as well.

“Everyone except the ambulance service who you would expect to he helpful, was amazing.”

A North East Ambulance Service spokesman said: “NEAS would like to apologise for the delay in reaching the patient,who had clearly suffered a painful injury.

“We also appreciate this must have been distressing for her son and daughter.

“An ambulance was despatched as soon as the call came in, but was diverted en-route to a potentially life threatening incident.

“During Sunday afternoon, NEAS was experiencing exceptionally high demand, with over 120 incidents in the most serious category.

“If Mr Tait would like to contact us directly we would be happy to discuss the matter, which we are looking into.”