A footballer who broke his leg during a game was left dismayed when a 999 call handler asked his team mates to ‘wheel him’ to the nearby hospital – to save an ambulance the trip.
Gary Smith was left lying on the pitch for more than 40 minutes after suffering the injury during the Doddingham United cup clash woth Eaton Socon Reserves, Cambs,. on Saturday.
His team-mate Charlie Bradshaw called an ambulance at about 4.15pm but the East of England Ambulance service Trust cliams it was not fully informed as to the “severity of the injures.”
Charlie Bradshaw said: “They asked for details including the address so I told them we were opposite Doddington Hospital, Cambs.,
“They said they would assess the situation and give me a ring back.
“About five minutes later they called back and asked to speak to Gary himself, who was laid out on the pitch. He was obviously in a lot of pain but managed to talk to them.
“They eventually said they would send an ambulance but they had asked if we could go over to the hospital, get a wheelchair and wheel him in for an x-ray.
“It was absolutely unbelieveable.”
The spokesperson for East of England Ambulance said that the orginal caller was not with the patient and said “only that it was an injured ankle with no indication of a fracture.”
He said: “Therefore we did ask if he could be taken to a minor injuries unit as appropriate for when a non-serious injury in indicated.
“A paramedic arrived within 20 minutes of the completio of that call back so was within our targets for non life-threatening injury.”