A DISTRESSED pensioner was left lying on the street for more than TWO HOURS while waiting for an ambulance after a terrifying fall.
Eileen Cropley (83), who underwent a hip-replacement operation only a year ago, tripped on a kerb on Grindon Crescent, Bulwell Hall Estate, on a cold December afternoon.
A Good Samaritan dialled 999 and a concerned group of locals gathered around to look after her.
The first alarm was raised at 2.45 pm and subsequent calls were made at 3 pm, 3.15 pm and 4.35 pm.
But paramedics didn’t arrive until 4.54 pm.
A cold and frightened Eileen, who lives on Longford Crescent, Bulwell Hall Estate, which runs parallel to Grindon Crescent, told the Dispatch this week that the shocking ordeal “was a blur”.
Thankfully, the widow was not seriously hurt and did not need hospital treatment. She is now able to nurse her injuries, which include a swollen right knee, at home, with help from her daughter, Pauline (57), who lives with her.
But bosses at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) have been forced to issue a public apology to Eileen after admitting that it missed its response target of 20-to-60-minutes by more than an hour.
A spokesman for EMAS explained that calls have to be prioritised and that “life-threatening” emergencies, such as heart attacks, strokes and alerts where patients are unconscious, must be dealt with first.
The spokesman added: “We regret that, on this occasion, there was a delay in the ambulance reaching the patient because of the number of emergency and life-threatening calls received. We apologise for the distress caused.”
Eileen, whose husband died nine years ago, has lived on Longford Crescent for 52 years. She suffered the fall on Monday December 12.
She and her daughter had been to the nearby Morrisons supermarket and while Pauline stayed at home to unload the groceries, Eileen went out to the Hucknall Lane post office to withdraw some money.
But within a few minutes, there was a knock on the Cropleys’ front door. A local resident was alerting Pauline to her mother’s fall.
Pauline, who is partially sighted, rushed to the 83-year-old’s aid. She cannot even remember whether she locked the door behind her.
“When I got there, I was panicking,” said Pauline. “I dropped everything because I thought mum had hurt her hip again.
“But she was lying on her back. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was very upset.”
Eileen says she remembers being very cold and some of the crowd helping her up before collecting a blanket from a nearby house. But they didn’t want to move her from the scene for fear of causing more injuries.
She said that she kept looking to see if the ambulance was coming, and every time she heard a car, she thought it was paramedics on the way.
Eileen explained that she was “very independent”, therefore having to rely on others and causing “a bit of a nuisance” was very distressing.
Eileen is now on the road to recovery but says the fall has had a big impact on her. She still has bruises and is hobbling from her injuries. She is worried about suffering another accident in the future.
However she has sent a heartfelt thankyou to local residents who rallied round to look after her after the fall. “They were brilliant,” she added.
This was echoed by Pauline, although she went on to say she was digruntled because although EMAS had apologised publicly, no-one from the service had done so “face to face”.