Wrexham dad’s anger over 999 emergency

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A COUNCILLOR has slammed the ambulance service after his son was injured during a football match.

Cllr Marc Jones’ 14-year-old son Huw suffered a suspected broken ankle during a match at Ysgol Morgan Llwyd on March 10 and a teacher dialled 999.

Cllr Jones, of Whitegate ward, said: “He was asked if the injury was life threatening.
When he explained the situation, the nurse said she’d ring back in 15 minutes.

During this time, my son was in a lot of pain and feeling faint.

“She did ring back after 15 minutes and told the teacher that no ambulance would be attending for at least another hour.

“Teachers and parents couldn't believe the response. We had the choice of leaving him lying on the field in the rain for an hour or me driving him to casualty at Wrexham.

“So we got the car onto the field and I drove him there myself.”

Cllr Jones added: “What concerns me most is that we were not qualified to say whether the injury was life threatening or not.

“Had he lost consciousness or had a blood clot, it might have become life threatening very quickly.”

Huw suffered damaged ankle ligaments which left him unable to play football for about five weeks.

Cllr Jones continued: “The teachers were great and I have no criticism at all of them and I’m sure the ambulance staff were just following orders.

“But that suggests that the Ambulance Trust’s policies are not up to scratch and I don't want other parents to go through what I went through.”

Cllr Jones wrote to the Welsh Ambulance Trust to complain about the failure to attend.

Cllr Jones said: “I received a letter stating that ‘our investigations are still ongoing’.

“It should be quite straightforward to explain why the trust has a policy in place of not responding to emergency calls that they deem to be non-life-threatening.

“What do they expect parents or teachers to do if this kind of thing happens again – when is an emergency not an emergency?"

A Welsh Ambulance spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases. Staff endeavour to be thorough regarding investigations for the benefit of patients and relatives meaning sometimes they may take longer than anticipated.

“Once it is concluded we always share the results with the patient and family involved to enable us to learn lessons and improve our service.”

See full story in the Leader

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