A mother has called it a disgrace that her son waited more than an hour for an ambulance after he was injured in a collision with a car.
Ten-year-old Mason Chrisp, from Blyth, was injured in the incident in Renwick Road, following which there was a 70-minute wait for an ambulance that failed to materialise.
Suffering a broken collar bone, cuts and bruises, the youngster was eventually taken to hospital by a paramedic in a rapid response car.
Mason’s mum, Leanne Kettle, said: “It’s a total disgrace. Mason’s fine and he’s on the mend, but if it happens again, the next person might not be as lucky.
“The paramedic from the first response car checked Mason over and said he thought his collarbone was broken.
“He radioed through a few times asking where the ambulance was, and they said it was on its way.
“He said he would give it 20 more minutes or he would take Mason himself, so we waited until 1.40pm - an hour and ten minutes after he was hit - and it still didn’t come so the paramedic put him in the car and took us over to hospital.
“He was really angry that the ambulance didn’t turn up.
“It’s a good job he wasn’t seriously hurt, but a broken collarbone and cuts and bruises is bad enough.”
But ambulance bosses have defended their decision.
A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “Ambulances are normally prioritised to life threatening calls, which are classified as Red.
“This was a Green incident – meaning non-life threatening.
“We dispatched a Rapid Response Paramedic, who arrived on the scene 16-minutes after the initial call – well within our normal response for this type of injury.
“The patient was conscious and had suffered facial injuries. After assessing the patient, the paramedic confirmed the injuries were non-life-threatening with our control centre, administered treatment and requested a support vehicle.
“Due to demand and higher priority cases, no ambulances were immediately available.
“The Rapid Response Paramedic therefore took the decision to take the patient to hospital himself.”