Three-hour wait in agony for ambulance

Kieren Burgess, who broke his knee playing football and was left in pain for three hours before the ambulance arrived.
Kieren Burgess, who broke his knee playing football and was left in pain for three hours before the ambulance arrived.

A teenage boy had to suffer in agony waiting for an ambulance to arrive after he shattered his knee while playing football.

Kieren Burgess, 15, of Droue Court, Rothwell, broke his knee while playing football.

His family have called for a better service after their son was left stricken on the turf for three hours without any painkillers before an ambulance arrived.

His mother, Lisa, 38, said: “The thought of it makes me feeel sick.

“I know the ambulance has to deal with a lot of people, but for my child to be laying in a field in the cold for that amount of time makes me really upset and angry.

“It is disgusting.

“I am going to put in a complaint and speak to our local MP.”

The accident happened during a game on Sunday, September 2, at Montsaye Academy in Rothwell.

As Kieren lay on the turf, his family put in a call to East Midlands Ambulance Service at 2.15pm, but after two hours a first response vehicle arrived, with an ambulance with a crew from Daventry arriving an hour after.

He had to be taken to Northampton General Hospital and finally got to the hospital at 5.45pm – nearly four hours later.

Subsequent scans showed that his knee was completely shattered and he had to have a screw fitted in it.

The service’s target for ambulances to arrive on scene to tend to people with similar severity injuries to Kieren is 60 minutes. In July, it unveiled proposals to close every ambulance station in the county bar Northampton and Kettering and replace them with smaller hubs where vehicles will be on standby, in a bid to improve response times.

But Mrs Burgess said: “I don’t think that will improve anything. It’s terrible.

“If people have life-threatening injuries they need to get to hospital as soon as possible.”

The ambulance service said the nearest available vehicle got to Kieren after one hour and 45 minutes.

Chief executive Phil Milligan said: “I appreciate the discomfort and pain he must have experienced. I am sorry for the anxiety and distress experienced by Kieren and his family.

“During this time we experienced high demand on our services and had several ambulance crews already on their way to hospital, while other crews were responding to other people in more severe conditions.”