999 dash to pub becomes chaotic crawl
Reporter: KEN BENNETT
Date online: 01 August 2014
AN ambulance faced potentially life-threatening delays reaching an elderly injured woman at an Uppermill pub.
Mary Derbyshire (85) fell as she was visiting the Church Inn for lunch yesterday with her husband and son.
The pub is one of the businesses hit by a million pound sewerage replacement scheme which has brought widespread traffic disruption to the area.
Phase four of the United Utilities scheme — started more than a week ago — has completely closed Church Road compelling traffic to make detours of several miles down narrow lanes to reach properties and businesses set above the village.
After her fall, Mrs Derbyshire, who was visiting the area with her husband, Kenneth, 89, and her son, Mike, 62, was comforted by Christine Taylor, the pub’s landlady.
Mrs Taylor says she called emergency services at 1.37 p.m after Mrs Derbyshire sustained a head injury.
But after an anxious wait, she rang again at 2.20 p.m and spent seven minutes talking to the operator.
“The lady was getting cold so I wrapped her in a blanket and got her a hot water bottle,” she said. “We waited but although we could hear the ambulance siren there was no sign of them.
“I was walking to my car to go to search for the ambulance — then they turned up.
“The crew said they’d been delayed by parked cars, obstructions and had to reverse a couple of times. It’s not their fault they were delayed.
“Luckily, the ambulance crew said she was not seriously hurt and did not need to go to hospital.
But the real concern is the time it took the emergency service to reach us. Everyone in the community is worried.
A North West Ambulance NHS Trust spokesperson said: “In this particular incident, we faced further delays to the anticipated road closures while trying to reach the patient.
“Our crew was diverted along narrow country lanes, had to negotiate around a number of parked cars and faced a further diversion with a low bridge on the route.”
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