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81-year-old grandmother waits nearly 3 hours for ambulance

Jeanette Turpin suffered head, arm, leg and shoulder injuries. Credit: Trinity Mirror

An 81-year-old grandmother who had suffered head, arm, shoulder and leg injuries after a fall at her home in Derbyshire, was forced to wait nearly three hours for an ambulance.

Jeanette Turpin from Clifton, Ashbourne, tripped over a step while walking into her garage shortly before 2pm on a Sunday (9 September). However, she wasn't checked in at Royal Derby Hospital under after 5pm.

Mrs Turpin, who is now recovering from her severe bruising at home, says she worries her ordeal suggests Ashbourne is not adequately covered by the emergency services and she has since made a formal complaint to East Midlands Ambulance Service outlining her concerns.

“I suppose I was very lucky that nothing was broken and my injuries weren’t more severe... But we didn’t know that at the time and I think I should have been seen quicker than three hours. It took four phone calls by my daughter to get that."

– Jeanette Turpin
Mrs Turpin is now recovering at home Credit: Trinity Mirror

Mrs Turpin’s 999 call was initially categorised as category three, which means an urgent emergency, but one which is not life threatening. This means priority is given to category one and category two emergencies.

"We are sorry we were unable to get to Mrs Turpin sooner on this occasion due to a high demand on the service... While we aim to get to all patients as quickly as possible, those experiencing a life-threatening emergency such as cardiac arrest or breathing difficulties have to be seen first. We are currently working with Mrs Turpin and her family to fully investigate the delay she experienced.”

– Samantha Westwell, Ambulance Operations Manager

East Midlands Ambulance Service has said it is working to improve response times with a £9 million additional investment in the service this year.