A GRANDMOTHER is calling for more paramedics after waiting 40 minutes for an ambulance when she fell and broke her hip.
Joan Hogg has had to have hip replacement surgery after she fell outside her daughter’s home.
The 66-year-old gran-of-three said she was in agony as she waited for an ambulance in the cold.
She said: “One of these days, someone is going to die waiting for an ambulance because they haven’t got the crews they need.”
Mrs Hogg, of Harton Moor, South Shields, had called into daughter Joanna Foster’s home and tripped on the step as she left.
She said: “My partner, John Bowlt, was waiting in the car and he couldn’t believe it when he saw me fall – I went my length.
“He jumped out of the car and came over. I couldn’t sit down or put any weight on my leg, so he had to prop me up the whole time.
“I couldn’t get back inside my daughter’s house either and I was hypothermic by the time the ambulance got to me, because of the cold and the shock.”
A fast response paramedic arrived with Mrs Hogg about 30 minutes after her fall and an ambulance arrived about 10 minutes after that.
Mrs Hogg, a former Shields Gazette receptionist, added: “The paramedics were really apologetic about how long it took them to get there, and my complaint isn’t about them, it’s about the Government cutbacks.
“It seems if you’re not bleeding to death, in a road accident or having a heart attack, you have to wait an unacceptable amount of time for an ambulance.
“I accept that my life wasn’t in danger, but the 40-minute delay certainly added to the trauma.”
Mrs Hogg was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital and an X-ray found she had broken her hip after the fall, which happened at about 7.30pm on January 31.
She had a hip replacement operation on February 2 and stayed in the hospital until February 11.
She is now recovering at home.
Mrs Hogg added: “I want to stress that the treatment I received on Ward 7 was second to none, and the paramedics and ambulance staff were excellent.
“There are simply not enough ambulance crews available.” A spokesman for North East Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 7.51pm about a lady reporting hip pain following a fall.
“The call was categorised as Green, which means non-life-threatening. Green calls have no formal response target time.
“A paramedic arrived on scene 27 minutes later at 8.18pm. Our vehicles do not carry X-ray machines. After the paramedic established the patient needed an ambulance, one arrived 12 minutes later.
“Our staff do a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances, and are currently providing the fastest response in England to Red calls – where people could potentially die.
“We are meeting all of our national response targets. If a patient is not in a life-threatening situation, then they may have to wait until a vehicle becomes available.”