MP calls for urgent investigation after 79 year old woman is lef

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Derek Taylor who waited for 80-minutes for an ambulance for his 79 year old wife.

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has called on North West Ambulance Service to launch an immediate and thorough investigation after a 79 year old dementia sufferer was left for 80 minutes lying in a pool of blood waiting for an ambulance after she fell down the stairs at her Maghull home.


Bill said the experience of Pat Taylor and her 81 year old husband Derek needed an urgent review.


Mrs Taylor, who has dementia and osteoporosis, tripped and fell down the stairs at the home she is being cared for on Deyes Lane.


Staff immediately called an ambulance and then husband Derek who raced to the scene from the couple's home in Buckingham Road.


He arrived within minutes to find his wife lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs. Staff were looking after her but were concerned about moving her before the trained ambulance staff had arrived.


With Mrs Taylor drifting in and out of consciousness, a second call was made to the ambulance service 15 minutes after the original call.


Another 25 minutes passed - 40 minutes after the original call - and the care home staff called 999 again.


It wasn't until another seven minutes - now 47 minutes after the original call - that an ambulance was "allocated to attend the scene".


But this ambulance was then diverted to another incident.


A second ambulance was sent to the scene after 69 minutes - arriving 1 hour 19 minutes after the original call.


A photograph of Pat Taylor from 15 years ago before she was diagnosed with dementia. Mrs Taylor arrived at hospital two hours seven minutes after the original call.


Derek repeatedly wrote to the ambulance service to raise his concerns, but they refused to discuss the issue with him because he was not the patient, despite explaining that his wife suffered with dementia.


Only after Bill Esterson got involved did North West Ambulance Service agree to investigate.


They have admitted to a catalogue of errors in dealing with the calls and have now written to Derek to offer their "sincere apologies".


Speaking to Bill Esterson from his family home, Derek said he wanted to make sure that other people didn't have to go through what his wife had gone through.


Derek said: "When I arrived at the scene I was obviously shocked to find Pat at the bottom of the stairs lying in a pool of blood from a cut on her scalp.


"The care workers were doing all they could to make my wife comfortable, but because she suffers from osteoporosis she couldn't be moved until the ambulance arrived.


"To have to wait for so long and to make so many calls to the ambulance service before any help arrived is clearly not acceptable.


"But then to add insult to injury, to refuse to look into the matter when I raised my concerns because I was not the patient was the final straw.


"I have been married to my wife for 55 years. I looked after her for nine years through the onset of dementia, until her consultant advised me that she needed to go into care.


"It is obviously ludicrous for North West Ambulance Service to refuse to look into a case as serious because it wasn't my wife who was raising the concern. Pat has got dementia and is unable to raise these concerns herself.


"As far as I am concerned North West Ambulance Service was employing a delaying tactic and they were hoping I would go away. But they can't be allowed to get away with leaving am elderly woman lying in a pool of blood for nearly 80 minutes.


"That's why I took this to my MP Bill Esterson and I know he is fighting to take this further.


"No one else should have to go through what Pat went through."


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he was appalled at Derek and Pat's experience and is insisting on North West Ambulance Service conducting a full investigation into what went wrong.


Bill said: "It is absolutely appalling that an elderly woman was left in a pool of blood for 80 minutes before an ambulance arrived.


"In the letter in which they apologise to Mr Taylor for the distress they caused, North West Ambulance Service detail a catalogue of errors throughout the whole proceedings which include from the original call being incorrectly categorised and an unacceptable delay in dispatching a replacement ambulance after the first one had been diverted.


"I have received a number of complaints now from constituents about North West Ambulance Service and I want reassurances from them that the service they are providing is not being adversely affected by government funding cuts, particularly in light of NWAS's own admission that on the night of Mrs Taylor's fall the first ambulance was diverted and there was a delay in finding a replacement because as they say it 'had been a very busy day for the Trust and no vehicle was available'.


"If there aren't enough vehicles to cope at all times, we need to know why.


"While North West Ambulance Service has offered their sincere apologies to Derek and his wife, I want to see cast iron assurances that the service has learned from the appalling errors in this case and have taken steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again."

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