Cricklewood man, 87, endured SIX hour wait for an ambulance after falling


Sachindra - Credit: Archant

An 87-year-old man was forced to wait six hours for paramedics to come to his aid after he suffered a fall at his home in Cricklewood.

Sachindra Banerjee, of Chipstead Gardens, was left withering on his kitchen floor in agony after a series of ambulance delays resulted in him waiting five hours longer than the target time.

Mr Banerjee, who suffers from emphysema and related respiratory problems, was forced to stay up throughout the night after calling an ambulance at 11pm.

He said: “It was a very painful, terrible wait. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t have any painkillers and I waited up all night. Then I waited another two hours to see a doctor before I could have my x-ray.”

The widower was discovered lying on the stone floor of his kitchen by his daughter Chandana, who had popped around to check he had gone to bed.

She called NHS 111 but was told to call 999 as it was an emergency case. After her first call she ended up ringing a further five times before paramedics arrived at 5am.

She said: “In a situation where there are extreme emotions raging, to deliberately force the patient to repeat the injuries when you have dialled 999 leaves me at a loss for words.”

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When paramedics did arrive, they told Ms Banerjee they had been sent from Rotherhithe rather than a closer depot in Neasden. Mr Banerjee was taken to the Royal Free Hospital where he was treated for bruising to his back and sides.

He has since been discharged and is back at home recuperating from his injuries. He said: “I am very anxious about what will happen if I have another fall.”

Ms Banerjee said: “I’m glad that my father didn’t sustain any deeper injuries and that he has been given the all-clear.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We are sorry we could not have been there any sooner. From the information provided to us by the caller, the patient was conscious, breathing and alert.

“We dispatched two crews but both were diverted to higher priority calls. We must prioritise patients in a serious or life-threatening position.”

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