OAP waited an hour for ambulance
A badly injured Oban woman had to wait more than an hour for an ambulance after falling near her home in McGregor Court in the town – because the vehicle had to be sent from Inveraray. Full story,
AN 80-YEAR- OLD woman who fell and seriously hurt her face was left waiting more than an hour for an ambulance to arrive.
Rosina McQue, who suffers from arthritis, was walking to the Bank of Scotland in Oban last Friday afternoon when she lost her footing and fell, injuring her face in the process.
A concerned passer-by quickly phoned for an ambulance, which then took more than one hour to arrive as it had to travel to Oban from Inveraray.
Mrs McQue, who lives at McGregor Court in Oban and who moved to the town 25 years ago with her late husband, said: ‘I fell just beside the Caledonian Hotel.
‘I had my stick, so I don’t know how, but I am very unsteady on my feet as I have arthritis. Someone phoned an ambulance and two couples from Edinburgh waited with me. I asked them how long I had been lying there and they said 57 minutes.’
Mrs McQue, who fell directly across from the taxi rank, added: ‘I could have got a taxi up [to hospital] within six minutes.’
After spending more than an hour on the pavement, an ambulance finally arrived and Mrs McQue was taken to hospital and later released following treatment.
She said: ‘I can’t describe how I feel. I hope they do something, not just for me, but also for other people in the community that it could happen to.’
Allan McKie, 55, who works at the Caledonian Hotel, brought Mrs McQue a blanket from the hotel.
He said: ‘I didn’t see her fall. I came past after she had been there for 45 minutes.
‘There were a number of folk there, but I was really angry. I think it was about an hour and 15 minutes [ before the ambulance came].
‘I’m not having a go at the local emergency services – I’m having a go at the system that allowed this to happen. We were very lucky this time round.
‘I was a councillor for nearly eight years. If I was a councillor just now I would be asking serious questions.
‘That could have been my mother, or anyone’s mother, and it could have been a heart attack. With hindsight, I am sorry I did not phone the police. It could have been something far more serious.
‘The emergency services said on the phone to leave her where she was. They were telling us not to move her, so for over an hour she was lying on a concrete pavement at 80.
‘I don’t want it to happen to anyone else and I’m sure the emergency services in Oban don’t want it to happen again.’
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: ‘This was not a life-threatening situation. However, we are sorry that the patient had an uncomfortable and anxious wait for the ambulance.
‘All 999 calls are clinically triaged to ensure that those with greatest clinical need receive the highest priority and, in this case, a local ambulance was dispatched quickly but had to be diverted to respond to a cardiac arrest.
‘This meant that the nearest available crew responded from Inveraray in 56 minutes. Ambulance control kept in contact with the patient to ensure her safety.’
Mrs McQue hurt her face when she fell near the Caledonian Hotel.