‘You’ll have to call 999, sorry’

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A ‘SHOCKED’ Boston man claims he was told to dial 999 when he asked a paramedic to help a woman injured just feet away from Pilgrim Hospital’s A&E department.

John Marriott, of London Road, was leaving the hospital on Thursday after visiting a patient when he saw an elderly woman fall over.

He said: “A couple of members of the public went to her aid just before I got there, but I noticed she was bleeding so I dashed the 15-20 paces to A&E, where there was an ambulance outside, and asked one of the two paramedics if he would come over as she was in need of help.

“But he said it would be best if I dialled 999.

“I said ‘you cant be serious, she’s 20 yards from here’, but his answer didn’t change.”

Mr Marriott said when he returned to the woman there were two nurses from A&E on the scene, who responded after seeing what happened through a window.

“I couldn’t believe it, it seemed crazy – the woman was just feet away from the A&E doors,” he said.

“To be asked to call 999 was just shocking. This wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago.”

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) which employs paramedics, said it is often ‘protocol’ to call 999 when somebody is injured on hospital grounds to ensure the correct support unit attends.

Pete Jones, EMAS assistant director of operations for Lincolnshire, said: “One of the ambulance crew was informed by a gentleman that a lady had fallen around the corner. A hospital nurse immediately went to her aid.

“At the same time, our ambulance crew were with a sick patient who had been unconscious. Their priority was to hand him over to A&E staff. They told the man they would do this and then come to the aid of the woman, but this was not necessary because a nurse had already responded.”

He added: “In the event that the crew could not have responded because the sick patient needed their help, the quickest way to get another ambulance present would be to call 999 seeing as there was no other crew on site at that moment.”