Broken leg pensioner waited an hour in the rain after Telford fall
An elderly woman who broke her leg when she fell in a Telford street had to wait almost an hour in the pouring rain for an ambulance.
Ambulance control operators also needed the help of passers-by calling in to help find her.
The pensioner slipped and fell on Bridge Road, Horsehay.
Beryl Onions, who lives nearby, said she was one of five people who spoke to the emergency services to guide them to the casualty.
Ms Onions said that a newly-ordered street sign will help drivers identify the section between the A5223 roundabout and the start of Wellington Road as part of Bridge Road, but Dawley Hamlets Parish Council chairman Andy Burford said the emergency service’s navigation system may also be missing the street.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesperson said there was “an extremely high level of demand in Shropshire” at the time of the accident, but confirmed an ambulance arrived 57 minutes after the initial call, less than half the target time for cases in that category.
The pensioner, who is now at home making a recovery, broke her hip and femur near the bus stop on Bridge Road on Thursday, November 14.
Ms Onions, who lives on Foresters Close, said a passer-by called 999, and the ambulance service asked for a house number.
“Luckily, a neighbour gave their house number, so they had something,” Ms Onions said. “But what if it had happened in a field?
“Later, when they asked again, we just said ‘Head for the Foresters Arms, you’ll see us’.”
Ms Onions said she was one of three members of the public who called the ambulance service. Two paramedics, who arrived on the scene before the ambulance, also called, she said.
“She was there for an hour, half on the pavement and half in the road, and it was pouring with rain,” Ms Onions said.
This section of Bridge Road branches off at a right angle from another stretch. However, there is currently no sign at the junction near the A5223 roundabout, so, Ms Onions said, some drivers don’t recognise the pre-Wellington Road section as part of Bridge Road.
At a parish council meeting, Ms Onions asked for a sign to be put up on a grass verge on the east side of the stretch. Adam Brookes, Telford and Wrekin Council group manager for Highways and Network Management, agreed to examine what could be done.
Cllr Burford said looking at signage was “the first step”, but added: “It seems like it might also be a sat-nav fault, because that’s what they often use.”
A spokesperson for WMAS confirmed they received a 999 call at 9.37am on November 14.
“During the call the location was updated by the caller to Bridge Road,” she added.
“The call was triaged as a ‘category three’ call: Urgent but not life-threatening. The trust is required to get to 90 per cent of such cases within 120 minutes.”
The spokesperson added that three subsequent 999 calls were received.
“The first available ambulance was sent at 10.26am and arrived on the scene at 10.34am, a response time of 57 minutes,” she said.
She also confirmed WMAS has been contacted by Healthwatch Telford and Wrekin, and its concerns are being investigated.