Teenager with spinal injury left on pavement for three hours after Telford car crash

ITV News Central's Lucy Kapasi reports.

A dad from Wolverhampton has revealed his frustration after his teenage son waited hours for an ambulance after a serious car crash.

19-year-old Nick Harrison was injured alongside his friend in Wrockwardine, Telford on 14 September when the car they were travelling in hit a wall.

The law student suffered spinal injuries, but had to wait on the roadside for three hours until an ambulance arrived.

His friend, who suffered a severe head injury, had to wait for an hour and a half for treatment.

West Midlands Ambulance service has apologised to Nick and his friend for the delay. Credit: ITV Central

When the ambulance arrived, there was only one paramedic on board who was able to drive.

As he needed to monitor Nick in the back of the vehicle, a police officer had to obtain special permission to drive them to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Nick remains in hospital with a spinal fracture, and will not know the extent of his injury until he is able to stand for an X-ray.

His dad Dylan Harrison says while both he and his son are grateful for the NHS staff, Nick's experience proves the service is on its knees.

Dylan Harrison says his son lay in pain for too long whilst waiting for an ambulance. Credit: ITV Central

"Obviously I was gobsmacked because it was clearly a very serious accident, and it was obvious that Nick had very serious injuries, as did his friend," Dylan told ITV News Central.

"The police and fire brigade arrived very shortly afterwards, but there was no ambulance."

On the day of the crash, West Midlands Ambulance Service lost 985 hours to hospital handover delays - the equivalent of losing 82 full ambulance shifts.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has apologised to Nick for the delayed response. It said the ambulance should have had three paramedics on board but was reduced to two midway through the shift due to a personal emergency.

It explained that the second person on board was a university paramedic student, and that external students are not able to drive on behalf of the trust.

In a statement, a spokeswoman added: "There is a direct correlation between the length of time ambulances wait to handover patients at hospital and the length of time it takes to get to patients.

"Hospital handover delays are still up to three times worse than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which means some patients continue to wait a very long time for ambulances to arrive."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care told ITV News "We are boosting the number of paramedics by up to 15,600 by 2032 as part of the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

"Ambulance services are receiving 200 million pounds of additional funding this year, alongside over 800 new ambulances."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...