Probe launched after Burnley man with chest pain waits hour for ambulance

AN investigation has been launched into why it took an ambulance crew an hour to reach a Burnley man who believed he was having a heart attack in the street.

Damien Andrews, 39, who has previously suffered two heart attacks, dialled 999 when he suffered 'bad' chest pains outside Burnley Bus Station.

Hospital bosses confirmed that Mr Andrews had to wait just under an hour for the ambulance to arrive and they are investigating.

Mr Andrews started to feel the pains at around 8pm on Tuesday May 22, but it was nearly 9pm when paramedics arrived.

He said he was particularly anxious as he had previously suffered heart attacks in March 2010 and January 2012.

Under Government targets NWAS aim to respond to 75 per cent of calls within eight minutes, and 95 per cent of calls within 19 minutes.

But he described the wait as ‘ridiculous’ and it caused him ‘enormous distress’.

He said: “I started getting quite bad chest pains on the Tuesday so phoned 999 for an ambulance, but it took them over an hour to reach me, which is just ridiculous, I could have died.

“It is supposed to be an emergency call yet it takes them that long to reach me. It has left me incredibly angry and upset.”

Mr Andrews, who lives alone at Cronkshaw Street, Burnley, is having an angiogram fitted next month In March this year, union officials representing paramedics said some of those needing critical care in East Lancashire were left at risk because of a lack of ambulances.

Large areas including Burnley and Rossendale, were left unmanned during the weekend, it was claimed.

Staff said the area was like a ‘war zone’ because of the battle to deal with 999 calls quickly.

Unison official Craig Wilde said at times this year the service was experiencing a staffing crisis and that ‘any dip in paramedic resources is of concern’.

A second investigation concerning Mr Andrews has also been launched, after he waited from 8pm until 2am on Sunday May 27 for an ambulance to transfer him from Burnley General Hospital's Urgent Care Centre to Royal Blackburn Hospital.

A spokeswoman for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said: “We are always concerned when patients are dissatisfied with the level of service we provide and we take all complaints very seriously.

“We have made contact with the patient and confirm a full investigation is being carried out.”

Comments (13)

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10:15am Fri 8 Jun 12

ratbag says...

I can understand the concerns when in the street but to complain about waiting in a hospital with doctors on site is silly. Maybe he waited in the street as all the ambulances were taking people from BGH to RBH.

You can't have it both ways.....
I can understand the concerns when in the street but to complain about waiting in a hospital with doctors on site is silly. Maybe he waited in the street as all the ambulances were taking people from BGH to RBH. You can't have it both ways..... ratbag

10:21am Fri 8 Jun 12

chris283 says...

This should not be happening is that why we pay taxes to wait a hour for a ambulance , disgrace wat with that and waiting for 4 hours to get seen in hospital this country is going down hill rapid hope your ok now pal
This should not be happening is that why we pay taxes to wait a hour for a ambulance , disgrace wat with that and waiting for 4 hours to get seen in hospital this country is going down hill rapid hope your ok now pal chris283

10:34am Fri 8 Jun 12

Elegant1 says...

My advice to anyone waiting that length of time is to get someone to take them to hospital by car! An hour is too long to wait in that situation and should not be tolerated.
The Golden Hour is all important in such cases. I do not care what is said by the Service provider the patient should not suffer for the sake of cost-cutting measures which seem to be prevalent.
Transport cases can, and do often, have to wait.
An hour is an inordinant amount of time to get a vehicle to the incident when an hour in distance would put you in a radius of Manchester, Blackpool, Preston, Accrington, Clitheroe, Rossendale, Blackburn, Skipton. Just to name a few.
Sounds rather neglectful to me. And yes I am qualified to judge.
My advice to anyone waiting that length of time is to get someone to take them to hospital by car! An hour is too long to wait in that situation and should not be tolerated. The Golden Hour is all important in such cases. I do not care what is said by the Service provider the patient should not suffer for the sake of cost-cutting measures which seem to be prevalent. Transport cases can, and do often, have to wait. An hour is an inordinant amount of time to get a vehicle to the incident when an hour in distance would put you in a radius of Manchester, Blackpool, Preston, Accrington, Clitheroe, Rossendale, Blackburn, Skipton. Just to name a few. Sounds rather neglectful to me. And yes I am qualified to judge. Elegant1

10:44am Fri 8 Jun 12

ratbag says...

I don't think the crews will of been sat on station doing nothing. The problem is the numerous jobs the ambulances are attending that don't need an emergency ambulance.

Sadly its cases like this where genuine cases have to wait as the crews are dealing with dross.

It costs approx £700 per call that is taken to hospital. People need to start asking themselves if I was made to pay that would I still ring an ambulance or would I make my own way there!?! Once people start doing that the crews will be available for real emergencies such as this.

It is too easy to ring an ambulance for non emergencies
I don't think the crews will of been sat on station doing nothing. The problem is the numerous jobs the ambulances are attending that don't need an emergency ambulance. Sadly its cases like this where genuine cases have to wait as the crews are dealing with dross. It costs approx £700 per call that is taken to hospital. People need to start asking themselves if I was made to pay that would I still ring an ambulance or would I make my own way there!?! Once people start doing that the crews will be available for real emergencies such as this. It is too easy to ring an ambulance for non emergencies ratbag

10:46am Fri 8 Jun 12

Stuart Farquar says...

We Are All In This Together
We Are All In This Together Stuart Farquar

11:14am Fri 8 Jun 12

rhodeislandred says...

If the ambulances and crews werent racing up and down the motorway to Blackburn this would not be happening .This was always going to be the case when they move A and E and although we do have some blue light services back in Burnley its still not acceptable .
We should not need to transfer patients to Blackburn when we have the facilities on our doorstep . Would love to see the statitics of how many man hours are used transporting too and from Blackburn and the cost of fuel increase since this has come in .
If the ambulances and crews werent racing up and down the motorway to Blackburn this would not be happening .This was always going to be the case when they move A and E and although we do have some blue light services back in Burnley its still not acceptable . We should not need to transfer patients to Blackburn when we have the facilities on our doorstep . Would love to see the statitics of how many man hours are used transporting too and from Blackburn and the cost of fuel increase since this has come in . rhodeislandred

12:09pm Fri 8 Jun 12

mavrick says...

This is the result of taking £20Billion out of the NHS. The Tories and the Lib Dems told us patient care would not suffer. The people of Burnley were conned by Gordon Birtwistle. The trouble is the damage done to the NHS may well be irreparable. The super Hospital at Blackburn is nothing short of a disaster. who ever thought it would work was an expert apparantly. it's going to get worse. so people should complain loudly and hopefully the condems will change course. Again.
This is the result of taking £20Billion out of the NHS. The Tories and the Lib Dems told us patient care would not suffer. The people of Burnley were conned by Gordon Birtwistle. The trouble is the damage done to the NHS may well be irreparable. The super Hospital at Blackburn is nothing short of a disaster. who ever thought it would work was an expert apparantly. it's going to get worse. so people should complain loudly and hopefully the condems will change course. Again. mavrick

12:13pm Fri 8 Jun 12

broome clarets says...

It seems to me that the move from Burnley to Blackburn emergency departments just isn't working..........I blame Kitty Usher for not intervening when she had chance on this, a total waste of space, interested in her own career rather than the greater good of Burnley and Communities.........
..

NWAS seem to have as much coordination and transparency as Blackburn Venkey Rovers board at the moment...


Is Derek Cartwright the new Steve Kean !!!
It seems to me that the move from Burnley to Blackburn emergency departments just isn't working..........I blame Kitty Usher for not intervening when she had chance on this, a total waste of space, interested in her own career rather than the greater good of Burnley and Communities......... .. NWAS seem to have as much coordination and transparency as Blackburn Venkey Rovers board at the moment... Is Derek Cartwright the new Steve Kean !!! broome clarets

12:25pm Fri 8 Jun 12

did you smash it? says...

mavrick wrote:
This is the result of taking £20Billion out of the NHS. The Tories and the Lib Dems told us patient care would not suffer. The people of Burnley were conned by Gordon Birtwistle. The trouble is the damage done to the NHS may well be irreparable. The super Hospital at Blackburn is nothing short of a disaster. who ever thought it would work was an expert apparantly. it's going to get worse. so people should complain loudly and hopefully the condems will change course. Again.
Rather that blame Gordon Birtwistle, I would lay the blame for the situation in Burnley squarely at the feet of Labour, as they were the administration that removed the blue light services from Burnley General. That cow Kitty Usher hopefully will never set foot in this town again.
[quote][p][bold]mavrick[/bold] wrote: This is the result of taking £20Billion out of the NHS. The Tories and the Lib Dems told us patient care would not suffer. The people of Burnley were conned by Gordon Birtwistle. The trouble is the damage done to the NHS may well be irreparable. The super Hospital at Blackburn is nothing short of a disaster. who ever thought it would work was an expert apparantly. it's going to get worse. so people should complain loudly and hopefully the condems will change course. Again.[/p][/quote]Rather that blame Gordon Birtwistle, I would lay the blame for the situation in Burnley squarely at the feet of Labour, as they were the administration that removed the blue light services from Burnley General. That cow Kitty Usher hopefully will never set foot in this town again. did you smash it?

1:27pm Fri 8 Jun 12

Interocitor says...

Labour are indeed culpable, but didn't the current MP campaign (basically exploiting the closure for political gain) on bringing back full A&E services to Burnley? A bit like their tuition fees promise...
Labour are indeed culpable, but didn't the current MP campaign (basically exploiting the closure for political gain) on bringing back full A&E services to Burnley? A bit like their tuition fees promise... Interocitor

1:53pm Fri 8 Jun 12

ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123 says...

Elegant1 wrote:
My advice to anyone waiting that length of time is to get someone to take them to hospital by car! An hour is too long to wait in that situation and should not be tolerated.
The Golden Hour is all important in such cases. I do not care what is said by the Service provider the patient should not suffer for the sake of cost-cutting measures which seem to be prevalent.
Transport cases can, and do often, have to wait.
An hour is an inordinant amount of time to get a vehicle to the incident when an hour in distance would put you in a radius of Manchester, Blackpool, Preston, Accrington, Clitheroe, Rossendale, Blackburn, Skipton. Just to name a few.
Sounds rather neglectful to me. And yes I am qualified to judge.
qualified maybe?? stupid yes!! dont you think for a minute that if they had somebody to take them to hospital,they would have asked them??
[quote][p][bold]Elegant1[/bold] wrote: My advice to anyone waiting that length of time is to get someone to take them to hospital by car! An hour is too long to wait in that situation and should not be tolerated. The Golden Hour is all important in such cases. I do not care what is said by the Service provider the patient should not suffer for the sake of cost-cutting measures which seem to be prevalent. Transport cases can, and do often, have to wait. An hour is an inordinant amount of time to get a vehicle to the incident when an hour in distance would put you in a radius of Manchester, Blackpool, Preston, Accrington, Clitheroe, Rossendale, Blackburn, Skipton. Just to name a few. Sounds rather neglectful to me. And yes I am qualified to judge.[/p][/quote]qualified maybe?? stupid yes!! dont you think for a minute that if they had somebody to take them to hospital,they would have asked them?? ROBERTSLUMDWELLER123

2:24pm Fri 8 Jun 12

frank says...

an hour is an obscene length of time to wait in pain,not everyone can afford the taxi fares to get to these pathetic centralised hospitals.
we're not all rich and selfish 'condems'
an hour is an obscene length of time to wait in pain,not everyone can afford the taxi fares to get to these pathetic centralised hospitals. we're not all rich and selfish 'condems' frank

2:16pm Sun 10 Jun 12

DaveBurnley says...

Interocitor wrote:
Labour are indeed culpable, but didn't the current MP campaign (basically exploiting the closure for political gain) on bringing back full A&E services to Burnley? A bit like their tuition fees promise...
Gordon Birtwistle promised to try, he's achieved part of it but not the full deal.


What is sickening is the way that NuLabourites such as Cooper whine about him not bringing A&E back in full. If they hadn't sold the people of Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale out in the first place, then there wouldn't be a problem.
[quote][p][bold]Interocitor[/bold] wrote: Labour are indeed culpable, but didn't the current MP campaign (basically exploiting the closure for political gain) on bringing back full A&E services to Burnley? A bit like their tuition fees promise...[/p][/quote]Gordon Birtwistle promised to try, he's achieved part of it but not the full deal. What is sickening is the way that NuLabourites such as Cooper whine about him not bringing A&E back in full. If they hadn't sold the people of Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale out in the first place, then there wouldn't be a problem. DaveBurnley

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