Hapton great-gran’s two-hour ambulance wait after stroke

A great-grandad has slammed the treatment his wife received after suffering a stroke, saying she was left waiting two hours for an ambulance.


Mr Peter Sanderson (71) also called the office of a hospital chief executive after becoming frustrated when 72-year-old Pauline was left waiting for an MRI scan.

Mrs Sanderson, of Cambridge Drive, Hapton, was taken ill around 10-30am on Saturday, October 26th.

Mr Sanderson suspected she was having a stroke and he and other family members called 999 at 11-07am.

An emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) told the family someone would call them back within the hour. But Mr Sanderson said that call never came and the family was forced to call for the ambulance a second time. The EMD who was carrying out an assessment asked to speak to Mrs Sanderson but her family said she was drifting in and out of consciousness and her speech was slurred.

The ambulance eventually arrived around 1pm and rushed Mrs Sanderson to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

After spending time on the medical assessment ward, she was admitted to the stroke ward and Mr Sanderson said a consultant requested an MRI scan before treatment could be decided upon.

“The consultant requested an MRI scan for her on Saturday night. She eventually got it on Tuesday afternoon only after I rang chief executive Mark Brearley’s office.”

Doctors found Mrs Sanderson had an anomaly at the back of her brain. She has been prescribed high doses of aspirin and is now back home but Mr Sanderson and other family members said much of her treatment was: “Absolute rubbish.”

“The doctors, nurses, auxiliary staff and paramedics, when they arrived, were brilliant, I can’t fault them but it’s the administration of it all.

“It just beggars belief. They say the first hour is crucial for stroke patients but Pauline had to wait two hours for an ambulance. At one stage we all thought she was dead, we were at panic stations.

“I’m just glad to have her back home. She has to take things steady but she’s getting better all the time.”

Mr Sanderson has since made an official complaint to the North West Ambulance Service but a spokeswoman said she was unable to comment until the complaint had been resolved.

Dr Duncan Gavan, consultant radiologist and clinical director for diagnostic and clinical support at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “All MRI scans are prioritised by clinical urgency by a consultant radiologist in agreement with the referring clinician and patient safety is paramount at all times.

“All patients are seen depending on their clinical need. The clinical management for Mrs Sanderson was correct as other emergency patients took priority at that time.

“However, because of the family’s anxiety, every effort was made to accommodate Mrs Sanderson’s MRI scan sooner. We are in the process of investing in a third MRI scanner, which will be operational early in the New Year.”