New Cross A&E staff tell man waiting at hospital to call 999

Published
Image source, Adam Hicken
Image caption,
Mr Hicken said he needed someone with experience to help lift her out of his car without further injuring his mother

A man was told to call an ambulance to take his injured mother inside an A&E unit despite being parked outside.

Gary Hicken rushed his mother to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton after she fell and fractured her hip.

But when he asked for help to get her inside the department, he said he was told no-one could help as staff were not insured and he should call 999.

New Cross Hospital said it would review the incident and apologised to the family.

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing," Mr Hicken said.

'You're having a laugh'

"I had gone in to reception to explain what had happened and said I just needed someone with experience to help lift her out of the car without doing further damage to her leg and hip.

"But I was told there wasn't anybody there to help as they were not insured," Mr Hicken told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"Then they said the best thing I could do is ring 999. I said, 'you're having a laugh, aren't you? Seriously, I should dial 999?' My first thought was 'this isn't right!' I've never heard anything like it."

He called for an ambulance and waited about six minutes for paramedics to arrive at the drop-off point where he had parked.

Image source, Adam Hicken
Image caption,
Mr Hicken's mother Eileen has since had an operation

"The operator asked me where I was and when I said outside New Cross A&E, she asked me to repeat it. She then said, 'you want an ambulance?'," he added.

Mr Hicken's 82-year-old mother Eileen has since had an operation for a partial hip replacement after falling on 16 April and is currently undergoing physiotherapy at the hospital.

"I had tried to save wasting time and resources for ambulances and New Cross is only 15 minutes away from [from where she fell] but sadly, it didn't work out like that," he added.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "We cannot comment on individual cases but will look into this further.

"We would like to apologise to Mrs Hicken and her family for any upset and distress this may have caused.

"We will ensure that all staff are aware of the process if someone presents at our emergency department in this way in the future."

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