Southend councillor's mum 'waited 14 hours in an ambulance after suffering stroke'
A COUNCILLOR has described her heartbreak as her mother waited 14 hours in an ambulance after a stroke.
Beth Hooper, Lib Dem councillor for West Leigh ward, spoke out at a Southend people scrutiny committee meeting.
At the meeting Tom Abell, chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, gave an update to Southend councillors on ambulance and A&E delays.
She said: “My mum had a stroke and I was in an ambulance with her for 14 hours.
“My experience was that the staff were hugely frustrated. The staff were impeccable. They stayed with me, but I’m pretty certain my mother did have a second stroke in the ambulance.
“The hospital wouldn’t accept her because she’d come out of the four-hour window, but she’d come out of the four-hour window because we couldn’t get an ambulance in time.
“It was a very difficult time for me personally. I don’t understand how we got it so wrong. How do we have so little resources when we know the numbers.
“I was told several times that the stroke unit would not take her but in the end she did get taken in, which doesn’t make any sense.”
Mr Abell apologised to Ms Hooper calling it a “horrible experience for anybody”.
He said: “The ambulance service has seen some real pressures over December and the early part of January and it was no different here in Southend. We saw both an increase in demand, but also the acuity of people so presenting much sicker and in crisis, principally because of patients with respiratory illness, so flu and Covid.
“C1 is our most high priority call that we get within the ambulance service - things like cardiac arrest and people who can’t breathe. Normally about 10 per cent of our calls are a C1 call, but in December that was routinely 18 to 20 per cent.”
Mr Abell reassured councillors Shoebury ambulance station, which was once threatened with closure, would remain open.
He said: “There’s no plans at the moment to close Shoeburyness. We may revisit that but currently there are no plans to close that station.”