A devoted step dad has spoken of the heartbreaking 45 minutes it took for an ambulance to reach his injured step son.
Adam Cattell had taken 11-year-old Ben Bartlett for a bike ride at Cusworth Hall when the boy lost control and fell off his bike at speed.
“His arms were twisted in horrible directions, there was blood coming out of his nose and there was grass in his mouth,” said Adam, 29, of Crusader Drive, Sprotbrough.
“He had big scratches down his face and his eyes were closed. It was quite scary.”
A passer-by called an ambulance. Ben, a Ridgewood School pupil, lay unconscious for about four minutes and then couldn’t talk for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, Ben’s mum, Sarah Johnson, 35, was waiting for them at Doncaster Royal Infirmary after the accident, at about 3.30pm last Sunday, September 29.
“I wish I’d gone to him now but I thought he would have been there,” she said.
Sarah said she was told by staff the wait had been caused by the volume of prank calls the ambulance service receives, and the fact many people will call an ambulance in a non-emergency simply to get a lift to hospital.
The family now wishes to raise awareness of the problems facing hard-working ambulance staff. They are also urging parents to make sure their child wears a helmet.
“We’re very worried about him getting on a bike again,” said Sarah. “They said without his helmet he wouldn’t have still been here.”
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “We aim to reach all of our patients as quickly as possible and would like to apologise for any distress caused following this 999 call on September 29.
“We would encourage the family to contact our Patient Relations team on 0345 122 0535 so we can look into the matter on their behalf.”
People are encouraged only to call 999 for an ambulance when it is obvious that you or another person is seriously ill and in need of immediate emergency medical care.