Belfast Telegraph

Paramedics apologise after two-hour delay

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service has apologised after a 12-year-old girl who injured her back in a fall had to wait more than two hours for paramedics to arrive
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service has apologised after a 12-year-old girl who injured her back in a fall had to wait more than two hours for paramedics to arrive
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service has apologised after a 12-year-old girl who injured her back in a fall had to wait more than two hours for paramedics to arrive.

Erin Hughes fell off her bike while cycling in Groomsport, Co Down, on Friday evening.

Her mother Emma called the ambulance service at 5.39pm and was told not to move Erin.

After waiting over an hour, Mrs Hughes phoned the ambulance service again and asked if they could take her to the hospital. She was told "absolutely no way" and to wait for the ambulance.

An ambulance eventually arrived at 8.44pm, but Mrs Hughes said the wait was "outrageous".

"We thought maybe she'd broken her collar bone and she had this really sharp lower back pain," she told the BBC.

"She must have been travelling about 15mph down this hill. It's just frustrating when you can't help your child."

An Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "We acknowledge that we fell well short in this instance. We do not accept that the wait experienced by the young girl and her family is any way acceptable and we would offer our sincere apologies to both."

Mrs Hughes said that, while Erin was not seriously injured, she was "traumatised" by the experience.

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