Pensioner waited more than seven hours on the floor for ambulance after fall

Evon Howlett, 97, waited seven hours for an ambulance to arrived after being discovered on the floor

Evon Howlett, 97, waited seven hours for an ambulance to arrived after being discovered on the floor by her carer following a fall. Photo: Tony Howlett - Credit: Archant

A pensioner waited for more than seven hours for an ambulance after falling at home and being unable to get up from the floor.

Evon Howlett, of Manor Road, Long Stratton, was left lying in agony after tripping while getting out of bed.

Her son, Tony Howlett, said the 97-year-old was found by her carer just after 8am on Thursday, March 15 and they first called an ambulance at 8.40am.

Paramedics did not arrive until 3.37pm, with a spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service saying: 'We are extremely busy currently in the Norfolk area and are telling patients there may be a delay in getting an ambulance to them.

'We have to prioritise life-threatening calls and have some other calls waiting to be assigned an ambulance.'

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An ambulance was assigned to Mrs Howlett after the first call but it was rediverted to a more urgent case, the spokesman said.

The spokesman added that as her condition deteriorated, her case was upgraded and an ambulance finally arrived at 3.37pm.

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Mr Howlett said his mother was screaming in pain and also needed to use the toilet - but that he had been told not to move her and wait for paramedics.

He described feeling 'helpless' after his mother, despite giving her a blanket and some pillows to make her more comfortable.

'I've called back four or five times and they were not able to tell us when they would get to us,' Mr Howlett said.

'I called the doctor as well who is only a few minutes away but they said they don't do emergency call outs any more.'

It appeared Mrs Howlett's zimmer frame had got caught on the edge of a chair, causing her to lose her balance.

She appeared to have fallen to her side, with her head hitting the electric fire place.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: 'We apologise for any distress caused to the patient and their family by the wait.

'We would urge the patient or their family to get in touch with the Trust directly if they wish to discuss this further.'

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