Anger at 40-minute wait for ambulance
A MAN who suffered a serious head injury at home waited 40 minutes for paramedics to arrive.
Worried Jenna Preston dialled 999 after her partner, Michael Griffiths, fell down the stairs at their Longton home, splitting his head open against a door frame.
Ms Preston says she told emergency staff that Mr Griffiths was bleeding profusely from a deep wound and slipping in and out of consciousness.
She was told an ambulance was on its way to their Sutherland Road home at 3.18am on Sunday, but paramedics didn't arrive until just before 4am, despite four calls from Jenna asking where they were.
Ms Preston, a 27-year-old hospital porter, said: "We had been out on Saturday night and went to bed at about 2am.
"Michael got up at 3.15am to go to the toilet. I'm not sure what happened, but the cat has a habit of lying at the top of the stairs and whether he stepped over and missed his footing I don't know, but he fell headfirst down the stairs.
"I ran to the top of the stairs and from there I could see a big hole in his head. It was really deep.
"Then he turned his head slightly and blood started pouring out.
"I got him in the recovery position and dialled 999. I was told they were on their way.
"I applied pressure to the wound. The call handler was asking me if there was enough blood to fill a mug. There must have been at least a pint-and-a-half. I have never seen so much blood in my life, not even on TV.
"Michael was drifting in and out of consciousness. He was feeling sick and he didn't know where he was. He kept saying he wanted to go home.
"When we got to the hospital they said it was a nasty, deep wound. He needed 14 stitches.
"I just think it is wrong that we were kept waiting for so long. I was worried sick."
Mr Griffiths aged 35, who works as a site manager for Sky Gardens, said: "I can't remember much about what happened.
"What I do remember vividly, is the sound of Jenna's voice, how shocked and worried she was. It's not something I want to hear again.
"I'm getting really bad headaches. There's a lot of pressure on my head."
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We have received a formal complaint regarding this incident and, as a result, are fully investigating the circumstances surrounding it.
"The call was received at a time of unprecedented high demand and the first ambulance to become available was sent.
"We will be in further contact with the patient and his partner to discuss this case."
According to national policy, all NHS ambulance services must respond to 75 per cent of 'red' emergency calls within eight minutes.
For less serious emergency calls, the time limit is 19 minutes.
Up until July of this year, West Midlands Ambulance Service responded to 81.5 per cent of red calls within the eight-minute time limit.
The ambulance service has not said which category Mr Griffiths's case fell under.
Ray Salmon, regional organiser of health union Unison, said: "I have not heard before of a call like that taking 40 minutes at that time of the morning."