Pub table 999 dash after ambulance no-show

Aylestone Athletic
Image caption David Burton dislocated his knee during a game on Saturday

A rugby player who went to hospital on a fold-up table as no ambulances were available is waiting to hear how long it will be until he can walk again.

David Burton, from club Aylestone Athletic, dislocated his knee in a game at Victoria Park in Leicester.

After waiting nearly an hour, players used the pub table and drove Mr Burton in a supporter's car. His injury will be reassessed in the coming days.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said it had to prioritise cases.

Club captain Jonathan Hunt said they acted immediately after the injury on Saturday: "On calling for an ambulance we were informed that none were available.

Image caption The team captain said they decided to act when the player became cold and his pain increased

"At the very least a rapid responder might have been useful to administer some pain relief.

"As it became clear that an ambulance was unlikely to attend any time soon and as Dave became colder and began to feel more pain, it was decided to move him ourselves to the Leicester Royal Infirmary, which is fortunately only about two miles from where we play."

Mr Hunt said they were not criticising the emergency services - and praised Mr Burton care in hospital - but were shocked at how stretched resources were.

Mr Burton said his injury would be assessed once swelling had gone down, but he did not expect to play again this season.

Mark Gregory, paramedic and general manager at EMAS, said: "We assess every 999 call to make sure we prioritise patients who are in a life-threatening emergency.

"Some patients are given advice to make their own way to hospital and we are pleased the rugby club were able to assist their player in doing so."

The British Red Cross has helped EMAS cope with demand, with the charity saying the situation was a "humanitarian crisis".

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