Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Jobcentre ambulance claim denied

An MP has claimed one of his constituents told him Jobcentre staff refused to call an ambulance for a woman who had collapsed in the street

Government officials have denied an MP's claim that Jobcentre staff refused to call an ambulance for a woman who collapsed in the street.

Good Samaritan Andrew Wishart claimed he repeatedly asked staff at the Jobcentre in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, to phone an ambulance for the unnamed woman but was twice told that it would break strict rules because she had not fallen ill on its premises.

The 30-year-old, from Blantyre, said he was then left to look after the woman while ringing for an ambulance on his mobile phone at the same time.

Tom Greatrex, Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, has demanded to know whether staff were responding to a Department for Work and Pensions policy.

But a spokesman for the department denied that staff had been slow to call an ambulance at the time of the incident last week.

He said staff helped as soon as they were alerted and stayed with the woman and Mr Wishart until paramedics arrived at the scene.

The spokesman said: "This story is utter nonsense. A member of the public fell over in the street. Our staff called an ambulance and waited until it arrived.

"The member of the public came into the Jobcentre the next day and thanked staff for their help."

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