Former soldier feared for life during eight-hour ambulance wait
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011
A ex-soldier waited nearly eight hours for an ambulance after a fall left him barely able to move.
Jason Dodson, 53, tumbled in his hallway last weekend.
Although in agony Mr Dodson was able to dial 999 but was told the service was busy and someone would call back as soon as possible.
The former infantry solider, who lives on his own, received a call 50 minutes later, but then waited until 10pm for paramedics to finally arrive.
Mr Dodson said: "I could barely move and it was freezing cold in the corridor. It was only through pure aggression that I eventually managed to clamber into bed.
"It was a good job I was not outside or stuck in the garden as I might have died from exposure."
The paramedics told Mr Dodson he did not need to attend hospital as the problem was muscular rather than skeletal.
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Mr Dodson said the paramedics were "very professional" when they arrived and he received painkillers.
But he intends to make a formal complaint about the wait.
"It was a good job it was not a heart attack," Mr Dodson, who lives in Strumpshaw on the outskirts of Norwich, added.
"When you hear of queues of ambulance you think it is exaggerated but it is not.
"I am not in the best health and the fall was my fault but you expect a quicker service. I pay my taxes."
Tom Abell, chief executive officer of the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAS) has apologised for any harm caused by ambulance waits.
An EEAS spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to Mr Dodson for the long wait he experienced.
“We ensured a clinician monitored and reviewed his condition throughout, but unfortunately each time we escalated the call because of the length of wait, we saw a surge of higher priority calls.
"Our resources were also impacted by long handover delays at hospitals in the area due to the significant pressures on the NHS.
“We work tirelessly with our partners in the NHS to keep our patients safe and prioritise our available resources based on clinical need.
"Mr Dodson was treated by our crew when they arrived on scene and was able to remain at home.”