Boy taken to hospital in fire engine because of lack of ambulances

Fire Engine

Ambulance service says its vehicles were stuck at hospital as fire service took 10-year-old with head injury after car accident

A 10-year-old boy involved in a car accident was taken to hospital by a fire engine as there were no ambulances available.

The boy had been involved in the accident in Telford during the early hours of Wednesday and suffered a head injury, the Shropshire Star reported.

A spokesman for West Midlands ambulance service said: “At the time, four emergency ambulances had been delayed by over an hour each to hand over their patients at the two Shropshire hospitals. In addition, ambulance staff were looking after patients in the hospital corridor at the time.

“Two ambulances were dispatched to the accident but were stood down when the fire service informed us that they were transporting the patient.”

The ambulance service had repeatedly raised the issue of long delays handing over patients with the hospital and local healthcare commissioners and would do so again, the spokesman added.

“Whilst on this occasion no harm appears to have come to the patient, it is a completely unacceptable situation that we were unable to respond to an incident such as this,” he said.

Debbie Kadum, the chief operating officer at the Shrewsbury and Telford hospital NHS trust, said the hospitals were dealing with unprecedented volumes of very sick patients at their A&E departments over Easter.

The number of A&E cubicles at Telford hospital had increased by 40% but this had not been enough to meet demand, she said.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by David Batty, for theguardian.com on Thursday 31st March 2016 14.39 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010