Residents kept injured elderly woman warm with a duvet and hot water bottles as she lay in a Rugby street for hours

The ambulance service has apologised after residents resorted to keeping an elderly patient warm with hot water bottles and a duvet as she lay in a Rugby street for hours.

File image, Getty.
File image, Getty.

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 2, a woman in her eighties fell and injured herself as she got off a bus on Lytham Road.

Onlookers came to her aid, calling 999 at around 4.16pm, and advice to not move the woman was followed.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

One of the residents who helped said the woman was very cold and quite worried – prompting residents to bring out hot water bottles, with one also bringing out a duvet.

More than an hour later, at 5.50pm, an off-duty paramedic who passing by also contacted the ambulance service, and was told that the ambulance was delayed.

Residents were growing increasingly worried for the woman, with one saying: “She looked so cold, her face was turning a funny colour, and she was obviously quite distressed.”

Then, at 6.36pm, an ambulance arrived and the woman was taken to Coventry Hospital.

One resident told this newspaper: “It was just appalling, that could be your mother or your grandmother left in the street for hours like that.

"We had an ambulance station in Rugby but that was shut last year.

"Rugby is growing so much, we’re getting more and more houses built, but where are the doctors, the surgeries and the ambulances?”

A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: “We would like to apologise for the time it took us to reach a patient who had fallen on Lytham Road on Saturday.

“The whole of the NHS remains under severe pressure and unfortunately, hospital handover delays mean some patients are waiting far longer for an ambulance to come to them than we would want.

“We continue to work with local partners to find ways to reduce the delays so that our crews can respond more quickly.

“Our staff and volunteers continue to work tirelessly to respond as soon as we can.”

They added that the call had been designated ‘Category 2’ – the second most urgent kind of call.

NHS standards state that 18 minutes on average, and respond to 90 per cent of Category 2 calls in 40 minutes.