The man, a member of the congregation at St Anne’s Church on Newcastle Avenue, Worksop, was at a Christmas fair last Saturday.
Revellers in the church hall were shocked when he collapsed just after 12 noon. Eyewitnesses described how he was ‘lying semi-conscious on the floor’ and someone called 999 for an ambulance.
“They waited 50 minutes for the ambulance but it never came,” said an eyewitness. “So the vicar decided to put him in his car and drive him to the hospital himself.”
St John Ambulance first-aiders were at the scene looking after the man and everyone rallied round to make him comfortable.
Campaigners say the incident raises serious questions about East Midlands Ambulance Service’s (EMAS) ability to respond to 999 calls and its consultation on closing Worksop and Retford ambulance stations .
A spokesman for EMAS said: “We received a 999 call at 12.19pm for a diabetic patient who had collapsed. At that time, all vehicles in the area were dealing with life-threatening calls which always take priority. When the call was received, it was determined that the patient was not in an immediate life-threatening condition and we were advised that St John Ambulance personnel were already in attendance and providing care.”
“At 12.55pm, one of our triage nurses made a welfare call to check on the patient’s condition. We were told the patient was sat on a chair and had been given a drink and a biscuit.”
“We were also advised that transport was available to take the patient to hospital and so we closed the request. We are sorry for any discomfort the delay in our response will have caused the patient.”
EMAS’ Being The Best consultation document can be viewed and is open for feedback at www.emas.nhs.uk/get-involved/being-the-best-consultation.
Alternatively, freephone 0800 917 9911 or email [email protected] to request a hard copy. The consultation ends on 17th December 2012.