A PENSIONER who broke her hip in a fall had to wait three hours for an ambulance.
And daughter Carol Holmes believes a communication breakdown was responsible for her mother Audrey Brennan’s wait.
Ms Brennan, 71, of Moldgreen’s Douglas Avenue, fractured her right hip falling on her kitchen floor on the evening of October 30.
Ms Brennan, who has Parkinson’s disease and arthritis, had been dropped off at her home by Carol and her husband, John, earlier that evening.
When the retired school cleaner failed to answer her phone later that evening, Mr and Mrs Holmes returned to Ms Brennan’s house to find her lying paralysed on the kitchen floor.
The couple called 999 at around 9.15pm and explained Ms Brennan could not move and was complaining of pain in her groin and leg.
They were told an ambulance was on its way.
But an hour later, after the ambulance failed to arrive, the couple rang 999 again and were told an ambulance would be on its way as soon as possible.
At approximately 10.45pm the pair received a phone call from an ambulance advisor reassuring them that help was on its way.
The ambulance arrived at around 12.15pm – three hours after Audrey’s fall, the couple said.
Ms Brennan arrived at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary at around 1am.
Mr and Mrs Holmes say they were told their request for an ambulance had come through as a ‘low priority’ for a ‘woman with a pain in her leg and Parkinson’s disease’.
Carol, 46, of Newsome, said: "Mum was getting more and more distressed because she wanted to move. It must have seemed like an eternity for her.
"I was really worried if she had hurt herself internally. So we were panicking for her because we couldn’t see what was wrong.
"She was calling for us to help and we couldn’t do anything because we didn’t want to make it worse.
"I appreciate they are busy on Friday night, but it’s not at all acceptable for someone to be waiting three hours for an ambulance to come."
Mr Holmes added: "The paramedics can’t be faulted and admitted themselves that it was wrong that we had had to wait so long for an ambulance and did say if she had been outside she would have had an instant response.
"But whoever decides what is priority, I feel, doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing."
Trevor Baldwin, assistant director of access and response at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: "The Trust would like to pass on our sincere apologies for any distress caused to the patient and her family.
"We have contacted the relatives and are looking into the concerns they raised. We will be speaking to them directly to discuss this matter further."
An 82-year-old man who had to wait 85 minutes for an ambulance after falling on a pavement has thanked the people who helped him.
Jack Carter, 82, of Crosland Moor, fell after tripping on a loose flagstone on Slaithwaite’s Britannia Road on October 30.
Slaithwaite firemen, passers-by and shopowners helped while Mr Carter waited around one hour for paramedics to arrive and 85 for an ambulance to arrive.
His daughter Diane Dawson, of Rochdale, said: "He wants to thank the fire station, local business people, the passers-by, the girls who attended from the ambulance service and the staff at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
"He is a little bit bruised but ok.
"He doesn’t want to complain but I’d like to know the outcome of the investigation."