Two hours of agony for 92-year-old left on floor

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The family of a 92-year-old woman with a broken back is fuming after she fell out of bed at a care home in Holbeach and was left on the floor waiting for an ambulance for two hours.

Audrey Emptage, should have been enjoying her birthday at Patchett Lodge but in spite of a safety bar on her bed managed to fall out.

Daughter Susan Beerling said: “A 999 call was made to the ambulance service and another call was made when it didn’t arrive.

“First Responders were brilliant and were there within 20 minutes but both ambulances were diverted – and I’m still waiting to find out how they could leave a 92-year-old woman on the floor for two hours.

“Her back is broken in three places and at her age the fall could have been life-threatening. She couldn’t even eat birthday cake that day because she can only have soft pureed sweet food.”

Mrs Beerling, of Spalding Road, said her mother’s health had deteriorated since she fell in January and broke her back while reaching for the remote to watch the Jeremy Kyle show on TV. The fall brought on dementia, and Mrs Emptage, who is also doubly incontinent, spent a month in respite care at Holbeach hospital, before being transferred to Patchett Lodge. She said: “Her carers have been fantastic, but I’m disgusted with the ambulance service. I won’t stop until I find out what happened – they haven’t met a daughter like me.”

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We are sorry for the delay experienced and will be contacting the patient to apologise directly for the distress caused.

“Using information given to us by the caller, the 999 call was categorised as not life-threatening. However, it was clear that help was needed and we planned to send an ambulance as quickly as possible.

“Two ambulances were sent on separate occasions but each was diverted to a higher priority call. Also, we were dealing with an incident in Spalding which was tying-up several ambulances. These factors contributed to the delay.

“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.”