Ambulance delays pile on agony for family of South Shields man who is fighting for his life

Mark Morton is fighting for his life after being attacked outside shops in Whiteleas.
Mark Morton is fighting for his life after being attacked outside shops in Whiteleas.

The family of a South Shields man who is fighting for his life after being attacked in the street have slammed delays in 999 treatment.

Mark Morton’s family say he faced an agonising wait for vital medical treatment after the street attack on Saturday afternoon.

Ian Tiffin said his 35-year-old brother was lying in the street for 40 minutes in Whiteleas Way, South Shields, before an ambulance arrived to take him to South Tyneside District Hospital.

He says doctors at the hospital only carried out one X-ray – despite him suffering extensive injuries.

And he then had to drive his stricken sibling to Sunderland Royal Hospital himself when it was decided he needed care there.

Mr Tiffin said: “It is totally wrong. I had to drive him to Sunderland Royal Hospital myself, as we had been waiting so long for an ambulance.”

Michelle Arrowsmith, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We cannot discuss an individual patient’s treatment, but we thoroughly investigate all complaints relating to our services.

“If Mr Morton’s family contact us, we will look into any concerns as quickly as possible.”

Paul Liversidge, chief operating officer at North East Ambulance Service, said: “We were called to an incident in the area of Whiteleas on Saturday at 1.09pm but the gentleman was not thought to be suffering life-threatening injuries.

“The call was upgraded at 13.40 when the gentleman’s symptoms worsened and with police support, the ambulance reached the patient at 1.51pm and transported him to South Tyneside Hospital.

“The hospital contacted us at 16.40 to transport the patient to another hospital.

“He was not considered by the hospital to need medical intervention en route.

“We were subsequently called at 6.49pm to cancel the booking when the patient made their own way.

“The patient and his family are welcome to contact us directly to discuss their concerns.”

Mr Morton has been left paralysed on one side of his body after suffering a stroke and has a bleed to the brain and a shattered jaw.

• Kevin Dunn, 26, of no fixed abode, was charged with grievous bodily harm at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday in connection with the attack.

He entered no pleas and was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on November 23.