A Doncaster mum is calling for emergency services’ response times to be improved after she claims her husband and disabled son were kept waiting for ‘two and a half hours’ for an ambulance after they were injured in a road accident.
John Fretwell-Challenger was taking his disabled four-year-old son James home from nursery when he began to hail a bus on Bawtry Road.
But as the dad-of-two momentarily took his hand off his son’s wheelchair to get his bus pass out of his pocket it began to fall forwards into the path of the bus.
The 45-year-old dashed into the road to stop James, who suffers from tumour disorder neurofibromatosis and brittle bones, from being hit – but was struck by the bus as he did so.
John fractured his shoulder and damaged his hip, arm and ankle in the collision.
James fell forwards out of his wheelchair and was injured as his dad was knocked to the ground by the bus.
The emergency services were called shortly after the incident at around midday on Monday .
But while police arrived on the scene within minutes John claims he and James were kept waiting for more than two and a half hours for an ambulance to arrive.
A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokesman said initial findings show an ‘ambulance clinician was on scene within 52 minutes of the call and an ambulance arrived 30 minutes later’.
But James’ mum Kerry Fretwell-Challenger said: “They were waiting hours. It’s just completely ridiculous that it could take that long for an ambulance to arrive.”
The 34-year-old said she was shopping in town when she received a phone call to say James had been involved in a serious accident.
“When I heard that I thought maybe James had been killed,” said Kerry, of Goodison Boulevard, Cantley.
“And then I couldn’t get through to my husband, and when I phoned my 10-year-old, Sharlotte, who was with them when it happened she was just screaming and I could hear James crying out for his mummy. I think John was laid out in the road in agony on the road when I first called.
“I got to Doncaster Royal Infirmary as quickly as I could but still had to wait over two hours before the ambulance brought them there.
“The police were there so quickly, and even they were getting annoyed because they called through to the ambulance service eight times but still no-one turned up.
“I’m really angry because who knows what could have happened to them in that time?
“James has brittle bones and get really ill really quickly with his condition, so it could have been so much worse.
“We’ve had to use the ambulance for James with his condition a few times before and the longest we’ve ever waited is a few minutes.
“I want something to be done, because who knows how much worse it could be next time?”
After receiving medical treatment at hospital John was released on Monday night, but James was kept in overnight due to fears he may have sustained a concussion in the collision.
He was released from hospital yesterday.
Jackie Cole, A&E Locality Director for South Yorkshire at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “We can confirm that the family has contacted us directly with their concerns regarding our response to this 999 call and we would like to apologise for any distress caused.
“We are currently looking into this incident further to establish all the facts.
“We will be responding fully to the family.
“We would like to reassure members of the public that our priority is to provide a safe, responsive and high quality service to the people of Yorkshire.”