Anger as vulnerable man forced to wait for two hours in road for ambulance

A COUNCILLOR has called for answers as to why a vulnerable elderly man lying injured in the road was forced to wait more than two hours for an ambulance.

The man was forced to wait more than  two hours  for ambulance
The man was forced to wait more than two hours for ambulance

The vulnerable man, believed to be in his 60s, is said to have hit his head after tripping into the road on Lanark Road, Juniper Green before 7pm on Tuesday night.

Members of the community rallied round the “groggy” pensioner, who suffered head and back injuries, with many immediately dialling 999 while others fetched blankets and cushions. But despite handlers saying paramedics would be there “as soon as we can”, the man was forced to wait more than two hours, with locals left in disbelief. A 50-year-old resident who assisted the man said: “The emergency services handlers told us not to move him due to him having a head injury but I think he was bottom of the priority list. Others were with him, including doctors, and it was great to see people rallying round him.

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“An ambulance should have been there sooner. There is something fundamentally wrong with the system for this to happen. We were all shaking our heads in disbelief. It is embarrassing for this to happen.”

To add insult to injury, an ambulance arrived at 8.30pm and signalled to helpers it was turning around. But all of a sudden the sirens starting blaring and it sped past the injured man to another call-out.

Edinburgh Pentland Hills Conservative councillor Graeme Bruce arrived on the scene after 8pm. He said: “This was a shocking incident, and it has understandably caused concern amongst local residents. It’s not good enough, and people need to know that if they need medical assistance it will be there when they need it.

“Thankfully in this instance there were several of us there to provide support, but that won’t always be the case. The Scottish Conservatives have written to the ambulance service to clarify how this was allowed to happen, and what steps will be taken to ensure an incident like this doesn’t occur again.”

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A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We apologise for the delay in responding to this patient. We prioritise our services to ensure the sickest, most seriously injured patients, including those with immediately life-threatening conditions, are given the highest priority. We were experiencing an exceptionally level of demand at the time and this patient was initially triaged as a non immediately life threatening emergency – the call was upgraded and one of our crews attended within our target time. We will be contacting the patient directly to apologise.”