OAP waited an hour for am­bu­lance

The Oban Times - - Front Page - DAVID MCPHEE dm­cphee@oban­times.co.uk

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.

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