As happens with the elderly, Iris Burton, 84, of Ratby, Leicester, fell, broke her hip and fractured her shoulder on February 15, 2013. On a cold sidewalk and unable to move, she called out for help. A woman came to the injured widow’s aid about ten minutes later, around 6 p.m., called an ambulance and called Mrs. Burton’s son. Mr. Burton, 53, arrived a few minutes later and waited with his mother for the ambulance, which took three-and-a-half hours to get there.
During the wait, his mother reportedly in a great deal of pain, Burton was told by National Health Service Officers that she should not be moved. He tried to keep his mother warm with hot water bottles and comforters from her nearby home. Mr. Burton told the Telegraph that after an hour, when he called to speak with a dispatcher, “I was told there wasn’t an ambulance available and when I asked when one would be with us and where it was coming from, I was told to stop being a nuisance.” He added, “It was still awful for her. The cold was coming up from underneath on the pavement where she was lying and she was in agony.” Luckily once the EMTs arrived, they did their jobs well, “The ambulance men were fantastic. They were brilliant, but I am going to make a formal complaint about the time it took to get an ambulance to my mother.”
Authorities apologized saying that though Mrs. Burton’s injuries were not life threatening, the ambulance should have been at the scene within 20 minutes.