Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

75 Minutes for Mercy Men to Arrive for Alice

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

75 Minutes for Mercy Men to Arrive for Alice

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter

PARAMEDICS took 75 minutes to reach a grandmother of 95 who collapsed on a cold street in the middle of Newcastle.

Alice Ord was shopping when she lost her balance on Newcastle's busy Northumberland Street.

But it took more than an hour for ambulance staff to reach her - after they were apparently told to go on their lunch break first.

With her mum in agony, and complaining of pain in her neck, shoulder and arm, daughter Carol Rodgers dared not move her but kind passers-by stepped in - taking blankets from their babies and bringing out duvets from a nearby shop in an effort to keep Alice warm, while a nurse from the RVI also stopped to help.

Now, the family want answers as to why it took 75 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

But ambulance bosses say they were responding to 30 other calls, some life-or-death emergencies, at the time.

"My mum lives in Sunderland and I took her to Newcastle shopping and she lost her balance, as she does sometimes, and fell," said Carol.

"She knew immediately that she had damaged something so we couldn't move her. Three university students stopped and phoned 999 immediately and passed the phone over.

"The control room asked me to try to move her, but she was claiming she had pain in her neck, shoulder and arm - I didn't know if she had damaged her spine.

"That was 2.50pm. Then two police officers came, and two young girls with babies in pushchairs stopped, and took the blankets off their children for her.

"British Home Stores staff then came out with new duvets and blankets.

"It meant mum was warm on top, but as we couldn't move her, the cold was still getting to her underneath.

"A nurse called Sophie from the RVI then stopped.

"Twice while my mum was on the ground I asked police to get onto their control as we needed the ambulance desperately because we thought she was going to die on the ground. …

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