999 FURY: Disabled East Lancs woman left lying in road for 90 minutes

Blackburn Citizen: Bernard Parfitt with his wife Marion, who suffered a badly injured nose in the wheelchair accident Bernard Parfitt with his wife Marion, who suffered a badly injured nose in the wheelchair accident

A DISABLED woman who was lying injured in the road waited 90 minutes for an ambulance after falling from her wheelchair.

Marion Parfitt, who has multiple sclerosis, was left covered in blood and in pain as she and her husband waited for help to arrive.

The 67-year-old is now waiting to hear if she will need plastic surgery to help her serious facial injuries heal.

A spokeswoman for North West Ambulance Service said other cases had to be prioritised on the afternoon of Mrs Parfitt’s accident as they were considered to be more serious.

But a health chief branded the wait as ‘totally unacceptable’ and said he would be writing to the organisation to demand an investigation.

Mrs Parfitt’s husband Bernard said he thought the way the Sabden couple’s case was handled was ‘disgusting’.

He said: “It is not acceptable for anybody to be laid in the road for 90 minutes. It is a ridiculous response.

“Marion was in pain and her face took most of the force.

“She cannot walk and we could not move her as we did not know if she had any broken bones.”

The couple, of Pendleside Close, had been in Clitheroe so Mrs Parfitt, who has been confined to a wheelchair for 34 years, could go to the hairdressers.

As Mr Parfitt pushed her chair along Wellgate, he realised her headrest was still attached, which he decided to take off to make having his wife’s hair cut easier.

When he stopped, he said he thought he had put the brakes on properly, but that one must have been loose.

Mr Parfitt, who was given Maundy Money by the Queen at Blackburn Cathedral in April for his volunteer work at Sabden’s St Nicholas Church, said: “The wheelchair turned and threw her out into the middle of the road.

“We called for an ambulance straight away at 2.40pm, but it did not come until 4.10pm.”

The road was shut by police to avoid any other accidents happening in the town centre.

Retired nurse Mr Parfitt continued: “It was chaotic for a couple of hours because the cars could not get past Marion in the road.

“The cafes and shops were all fantastic and people brought us a brew out.

“Marion only wanted water because she felt sickly.

“When they arrived, the ambulance guys were lovely. They said they came as soon as they got the call.

“I do not think it was their fault, it was the powers that be.”

It is understood Mrs Parfitt’s case was considered to be a green two call, which means according to NWAS procedure, an ambulance should have been with her within 20 to 30 minutes.

Red one and two calls, which are when a patient is in cardiac arrest or not breathing, must have a paramedic with them within eight minutes.

Mrs Parfitt was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital after the accident on Friday and an appointment has been arranged for her to see specialists at Royal Preston Hospital, who will determine if she needs a skin graft for her facial injuries.

An NWAS spokeswoman said: “We understand that waiting for an ambulance can be distressing for the patient and their family and we are sorry that in this instance, the patient's family is not happy with the service received.

“When received, all 999 calls are categorised within the control rooms, based on the information given by the caller, to ensure patients are assessed on the basis of their medical need, with those with life-threatening conditions taking priority.

“Although the service strives to attend to every patient as quickly as possible, periods of high activity can cause delays for some.

“If the family would like to discuss this incident with us, we would urge them to contact us directly so we can respond to their concerns.”

Coun Azhar Ali, health chief at Lancashire County Council, said the apology was welcome, but that it did not go far enough.

He said: “I am going to write to NWAS asking for an investigation into what happened.

“Nobody who dials 999 should have to wait 90 minutes, especially not someone with multiple sclerosis who was lying in the middle of the road and who had sustained injuries.

“She deserved far, far better. It was not good enough.

“NWAS has been hit by massive cuts from the government, but despite that, these sort of incidents need instant responses.

“People need to have confidence in the ambulance service, but it ends up being shattered when you hear about incidents like this.

“I will be pushing NWAS and the local clinical commissioning group to find out exactly what went on.”

Comments (26)

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9:11am Mon 9 Jun 14

shytalk says...

What went on is the net result of Tory cuts and back door privatisation of the NHS.
What went on is the net result of Tory cuts and back door privatisation of the NHS. shytalk
  • Score: 51

9:26am Mon 9 Jun 14

maxcollie says...

Totally DISGUSTING. The call handlers should be sacked. They would rather send an ambulance to drunks or druggies.
Totally DISGUSTING. The call handlers should be sacked. They would rather send an ambulance to drunks or druggies. maxcollie
  • Score: 28

9:27am Mon 9 Jun 14

Excluded again says...

Keep cutting the number of ambulances and eventually there aren't enough ambulances. Simple.
Keep cutting the number of ambulances and eventually there aren't enough ambulances. Simple. Excluded again
  • Score: 92

9:59am Mon 9 Jun 14

Steven Seagull says...

I fully sympathise with Mrs Parfitt's situation but I'm afraid if there wasn't an ambulance to send because of demand and higher priority elsewhere then I'm sorry that's just the way it is.

Maybe she should be writing to David Cameron and complaining about government budget cuts.
I fully sympathise with Mrs Parfitt's situation but I'm afraid if there wasn't an ambulance to send because of demand and higher priority elsewhere then I'm sorry that's just the way it is. Maybe she should be writing to David Cameron and complaining about government budget cuts. Steven Seagull
  • Score: 37

10:05am Mon 9 Jun 14

BRFC195 says...

Unfortunately regular callers to the ambulance service and other agencies know how to exaggerate to get an emergency response ...I'm not saying that the other calls were not genuine but there are the regular time wasters who pressure resources who put lives at risk , only a few weeks ago they announced a vehicle would be cut and this proves why they shouldn't , also ambulances are called out to our ever growing mental health patients where other agency's are letting them down with the ambulance service been left to pick up there dirty work
Unfortunately regular callers to the ambulance service and other agencies know how to exaggerate to get an emergency response ...I'm not saying that the other calls were not genuine but there are the regular time wasters who pressure resources who put lives at risk , only a few weeks ago they announced a vehicle would be cut and this proves why they shouldn't , also ambulances are called out to our ever growing mental health patients where other agency's are letting them down with the ambulance service been left to pick up there dirty work BRFC195
  • Score: 61

10:51am Mon 9 Jun 14

Blue-tonic says...

I urge councillor azhar to spend a shift on the ambulance service , his eyes will open to the reality of cuts and massive time wasters, and the nhs111 referrals which does not require conveyance to a&e never mind ambulance.
I urge councillor azhar to spend a shift on the ambulance service , his eyes will open to the reality of cuts and massive time wasters, and the nhs111 referrals which does not require conveyance to a&e never mind ambulance. Blue-tonic
  • Score: 60

10:55am Mon 9 Jun 14

Blue-tonic says...

Please to write and request to spend & observe a shift, a reliable source tells me they that they get sent to minor jobs ie d&v for weeks and other minor conditions referred via Nhs 111, that's where the hold up is & yes I agree with a previous comment too many agencies are just dumping patients on to the ambulance service and a&e departments
Please to write and request to spend & observe a shift, a reliable source tells me they that they get sent to minor jobs ie d&v for weeks and other minor conditions referred via Nhs 111, that's where the hold up is & yes I agree with a previous comment too many agencies are just dumping patients on to the ambulance service and a&e departments Blue-tonic
  • Score: 50

10:58am Mon 9 Jun 14

stan laurel says...

maxcollie wrote:
Totally DISGUSTING. The call handlers should be sacked. They would rather send an ambulance to drunks or druggies.
The call handlers have no say in the matter. They process each call on the information they are given. If you want to blame anyone, blame the people that needlessly call 999, on a regular basis, knowing what to say in order to illicit a priority response.
[quote][p][bold]maxcollie[/bold] wrote: Totally DISGUSTING. The call handlers should be sacked. They would rather send an ambulance to drunks or druggies.[/p][/quote]The call handlers have no say in the matter. They process each call on the information they are given. If you want to blame anyone, blame the people that needlessly call 999, on a regular basis, knowing what to say in order to illicit a priority response. stan laurel
  • Score: 65

11:06am Mon 9 Jun 14

stan laurel says...

Blue-tonic wrote:
I urge councillor azhar to spend a shift on the ambulance service , his eyes will open to the reality of cuts and massive time wasters, and the nhs111 referrals which does not require conveyance to a&e never mind ambulance.
i'm emailing him now...it would be rude for me to not do so.
[quote][p][bold]Blue-tonic[/bold] wrote: I urge councillor azhar to spend a shift on the ambulance service , his eyes will open to the reality of cuts and massive time wasters, and the nhs111 referrals which does not require conveyance to a&e never mind ambulance.[/p][/quote]i'm emailing him now...it would be rude for me to not do so. stan laurel
  • Score: 42

12:02pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Old age pensioner says...

Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!!
Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!! Old age pensioner
  • Score: 50

12:24pm Mon 9 Jun 14

A Darener says...

Don't understand this story. Rapid response vehicles are located throughout the area usually parked up waiting for a call. Their job is to get to a patient as a first response to assess the situation take whatever medical measures they can and await the arrival of the ambulance. Where were they in this case? It seems to me that whoever made the original 999 call did not emphasise the seriousness of the situation. There is a finite number of ambulances and the call centre can only assess the situation on the information supplied.
As for blaming the Government...there is only so much they can do, they provide ample monies to run the NHS, it is up to the management to allocate resources to cover all medical situations, be it hospitals, ambulance services or whatever.
Don't understand this story. Rapid response vehicles are located throughout the area usually parked up waiting for a call. Their job is to get to a patient as a first response to assess the situation take whatever medical measures they can and await the arrival of the ambulance. Where were they in this case? It seems to me that whoever made the original 999 call did not emphasise the seriousness of the situation. There is a finite number of ambulances and the call centre can only assess the situation on the information supplied. As for blaming the Government...there is only so much they can do, they provide ample monies to run the NHS, it is up to the management to allocate resources to cover all medical situations, be it hospitals, ambulance services or whatever. A Darener
  • Score: -29

12:27pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Steven Seagull says...

Old age pensioner wrote:
Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!!
Haven't you just been sent to prison for blackmailing a bank in Whalley?
[quote][p][bold]Old age pensioner[/bold] wrote: Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!![/p][/quote]Haven't you just been sent to prison for blackmailing a bank in Whalley? Steven Seagull
  • Score: -15

1:03pm Mon 9 Jun 14

ratbag says...

What was the seriousness of this ladies injuries?? She had facial injuries? Could nobody assist her back into her chair? How date she be so arrogant to think that her cut face should be given priority over genuine life threatening calls. In an ideal world everybody would get an ambulance within a short period of time. In the real world ambulances are being cut meaning that minor cases like this will have to wait longer whilst serious cases are dealt with!
What was the seriousness of this ladies injuries?? She had facial injuries? Could nobody assist her back into her chair? How date she be so arrogant to think that her cut face should be given priority over genuine life threatening calls. In an ideal world everybody would get an ambulance within a short period of time. In the real world ambulances are being cut meaning that minor cases like this will have to wait longer whilst serious cases are dealt with! ratbag
  • Score: -35

1:22pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Excluded again says...

Old age pensioner wrote:
Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!!
Or the £1.2 billion a year tax cut given to millionaires? Or the money the government is spending defending bankers bonuses in court?

There is plenty of money for the government's priorities. But the emergency services (ambulance, firefighters and police) are well down the list below bankers and millionaires.
[quote][p][bold]Old age pensioner[/bold] wrote: Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!![/p][/quote]Or the £1.2 billion a year tax cut given to millionaires? Or the money the government is spending defending bankers bonuses in court? There is plenty of money for the government's priorities. But the emergency services (ambulance, firefighters and police) are well down the list below bankers and millionaires. Excluded again
  • Score: 40

2:31pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Old age pensioner says...

Steven Seagull wrote:
Old age pensioner wrote:
Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!!
Haven't you just been sent to prison for blackmailing a bank in Whalley?
NH
[quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Old age pensioner[/bold] wrote: Hmmmm maybe the billions we spend on over seas aid would be better spent at home Mr Cameron!![/p][/quote]Haven't you just been sent to prison for blackmailing a bank in Whalley?[/p][/quote]NH Old age pensioner
  • Score: -13

3:17pm Mon 9 Jun 14

noddy57 says...

This is what the NHS under the Tories has come too. its a failing system and has been for years under both parties.the system cannot cope with the increasing population and the government is clueless to address the problem. l don,t blame people wanting to come here but when we cannot treat our senior citizens with basic care within a certain time well its a sad indictment .
This is what the NHS under the Tories has come too. its a failing system and has been for years under both parties.the system cannot cope with the increasing population and the government is clueless to address the problem. l don,t blame people wanting to come here but when we cannot treat our senior citizens with basic care within a certain time well its a sad indictment . noddy57
  • Score: 19

3:35pm Mon 9 Jun 14

A Darener says...

The government allocate the money, the NHS spends it as it sees fit. Mostly on management, infrastructure for administrators, expensive drugs and procedures for cosmetic and vanity reasons etc. It is the "coal face" that requires the money.
The government allocate the money, the NHS spends it as it sees fit. Mostly on management, infrastructure for administrators, expensive drugs and procedures for cosmetic and vanity reasons etc. It is the "coal face" that requires the money. A Darener
  • Score: 24

4:10pm Mon 9 Jun 14

mavrick says...

I think A Darrener needs to open his /her Tory eyes and survey the wreckage of public services caused by the Tories slash and burn policies, The NHS does not have ample funds, Bad management yes. As for contacting the bosses at the ambulance service to discuss the concerns I wouldn't bother, It will be swept under the carpet with the rest of the management bull. The truth is simple they cut back on ambulances and crews and this is the result. If you voted Tory this is what you get.
I think A Darrener needs to open his /her Tory eyes and survey the wreckage of public services caused by the Tories slash and burn policies, The NHS does not have ample funds, Bad management yes. As for contacting the bosses at the ambulance service to discuss the concerns I wouldn't bother, It will be swept under the carpet with the rest of the management bull. The truth is simple they cut back on ambulances and crews and this is the result. If you voted Tory this is what you get. mavrick
  • Score: 25

4:17pm Mon 9 Jun 14

A Darener says...

NHS net expenditure (resource plus capital, minus depreciation) has increased from £57.049 billion in 2002/03 to £105.254bn in 2012/13. Planned expenditure for 2013/14 is £109.956bn.
If they cannot live on that amount then they need new administrators. Don't blame the Government. Finance is a matter of good housekeeping. The money is there as shown above. It is the allocation that is wrong.
NHS net expenditure (resource plus capital, minus depreciation) has increased from £57.049 billion in 2002/03 to £105.254bn in 2012/13. Planned expenditure for 2013/14 is £109.956bn. If they cannot live on that amount then they need new administrators. Don't blame the Government. Finance is a matter of good housekeeping. The money is there as shown above. It is the allocation that is wrong. A Darener
  • Score: 20

5:24pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Truth will out says...

Both sides are right.

The family is right to be aggrieved at having to wait 90 mins for an ambulance. That's not right and they should have had a faster response.

That said I doubt the NWAS were ignoring the call. I'd be pretty naffed off if someone I knew needed an ambulance for a heart attack and priority was given to this case where a brake wasn't applied to a wheelchair.

It's all about context and only the NWAS will know what that was at this time.
Both sides are right. The family is right to be aggrieved at having to wait 90 mins for an ambulance. That's not right and they should have had a faster response. That said I doubt the NWAS were ignoring the call. I'd be pretty naffed off if someone I knew needed an ambulance for a heart attack and priority was given to this case where a brake wasn't applied to a wheelchair. It's all about context and only the NWAS will know what that was at this time. Truth will out
  • Score: 18

5:28pm Mon 9 Jun 14

shabba says...

North west ambulance have to save over 10 million this year due to cuts so it is inevitable that front line services will be lost. the ambulances are so busy that people will have longer waits. people seem to think that there are loads of ambulances but this is not the case Burnley has 4 and down to 2 at night they cannot get to everyone and now they are cutting down. what do people expect they do their best and i'm sure certain people know the right words to get an ambulance faster. calls are prioritised in order of seriousness and facial injuries although not pleasant will not be a priority
North west ambulance have to save over 10 million this year due to cuts so it is inevitable that front line services will be lost. the ambulances are so busy that people will have longer waits. people seem to think that there are loads of ambulances but this is not the case Burnley has 4 and down to 2 at night they cannot get to everyone and now they are cutting down. what do people expect they do their best and i'm sure certain people know the right words to get an ambulance faster. calls are prioritised in order of seriousness and facial injuries although not pleasant will not be a priority shabba
  • Score: 20

5:34pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Excluded again says...

A Darener wrote:
The government allocate the money, the NHS spends it as it sees fit. Mostly on management, infrastructure for administrators, expensive drugs and procedures for cosmetic and vanity reasons etc. It is the "coal face" that requires the money.
Every international study done on the cost of management of healthcare in different countries always shows one of two countries with the lowest management costs - either Germany or the UK. So the NHS spends a lower proportion of its income on management than any other country in the world other than Germany.

And the country which spends the highest proportion of money on management in healthcare. That will the USA where they still have a primitive private healthcare system. Like the Tories want to copy here.
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: The government allocate the money, the NHS spends it as it sees fit. Mostly on management, infrastructure for administrators, expensive drugs and procedures for cosmetic and vanity reasons etc. It is the "coal face" that requires the money.[/p][/quote]Every international study done on the cost of management of healthcare in different countries always shows one of two countries with the lowest management costs - either Germany or the UK. So the NHS spends a lower proportion of its income on management than any other country in the world other than Germany. And the country which spends the highest proportion of money on management in healthcare. That will the USA where they still have a primitive private healthcare system. Like the Tories want to copy here. Excluded again
  • Score: 17

5:51pm Mon 9 Jun 14

noddy57 says...

Some people are just blind to the true state of the NHS. The Tory government want to privatise the system whether you like it or not` this is the thin end of the wedge` it is already happening.These are not just cuts for austerity reasons its a smokescreen for Tory policy for the foreseeable future.Wake up.
Some people are just blind to the true state of the NHS. The Tory government want to privatise the system whether you like it or not` this is the thin end of the wedge` it is already happening.These are not just cuts for austerity reasons its a smokescreen for Tory policy for the foreseeable future.Wake up. noddy57
  • Score: 13

10:16pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Roopat says...

Disgusting service!
So we our taxes to be left to suffer!
and 8mins is acceptable to get to a patient with cardiac arrest?!!.? So am i right in thinking i would survive if my heart stopped for 8mins???
Disgusting service! So we our taxes to be left to suffer! and 8mins is acceptable to get to a patient with cardiac arrest?!!.? So am i right in thinking i would survive if my heart stopped for 8mins??? Roopat
  • Score: -11

10:56pm Mon 9 Jun 14

POW WOW says...

One fine mess for Nigel Evans to sort out !!!!!!!!!!!!!
One fine mess for Nigel Evans to sort out !!!!!!!!!!!!! POW WOW
  • Score: 17

6:11pm Tue 24 Jun 14

ConcernedOssy says...

POW WOW wrote:
One fine mess for Nigel Evans to sort out !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Think he has MANY OTHER THINGS ON HIS MIND JUST NOW THOUGH
[quote][p][bold]POW WOW[/bold] wrote: One fine mess for Nigel Evans to sort out !!!!!!!!!!!!![/p][/quote]Think he has MANY OTHER THINGS ON HIS MIND JUST NOW THOUGH ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

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