Disabled Hailsham man's frustration over long wait for ambulance

A disabled man said he had to wait in the cold and rain for at least an hour for an ambulance to arrive after a collision in Hailsham.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 11:54 am
Updated Friday, 27th January 2017, 11:58 am
Annoyed: Dean Goldsmith was involved in an accident

Dean Goldsmith, of Cameron Close, Hailsham, had to be cut free from his vehicle after the accident in Mill Road.

The father of three said the fire service arrived quickly after his collision with a tree and started to cut the roof of the car so he could get out.

But they could not continue until an ambulance arrived, forcing Mr Goldsmith, 48, to wait in the rain and freezing temperatures for what he says was hours – but what the ambulance service has stated was approximately just over an hour.

Mr Goldsmith, who suffers spine disease and walks with the assistance of sticks or uses a wheelchair, said, “I hit a hedge and ended up in a tree.

“I had to be cut out of the car, but I had to wait hours in the cold for the ambulance to turn up.

“I’m annoyed. It’s disgusting. The fire brigade were brilliant but they could not fully cut me out until the ambulance arrived.

“My wife said it was a good two hours wait. I’m still getting over it. The accident has probably done more damage to my back.

“I’ve also had a cold from getting wet waiting around for the ambulance in the rain.”

A spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service said an unmarked paramedic vehicle arrived on scene in approximately 55 minutes, followed by an ambulance around 15 minutes later.

They said, “We always take any concerns raised seriously and we are sorry it took us longer than we would like to respond to this call.

“We would invite Mr Goldsmith to contact us directly to look into his concerns in more detail.

“The demand we continue to face means that it is taking longer than usual to respond to some calls.

“We are prioritising our response to life-threatening emergencies.”

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning for icy roads on January 6 after Mr Goldsmith’s collision.

Head of Community Safety David Kemp said, “The change in conditions on the roads can make it difficult for motorists.

“It’s really important to take this into account.”

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