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Call for quicker ambulance responses after man who collapsed at mosque was taken to hospital by car

A community leader is calling for speedier ambulance response times after a diabetic person who collapsed at a mosque had to be taken to hospital in a car.

Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street, Palfrey, Walsall
Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street, Palfrey, Walsall

The 65-year-old man was taken ill shortly before 7.50pm on Monday at Aisha Mosque in Rutter Street, Palfrey, in Walsall.

Walsall’s interim chairman of Union of Muslim Organisations Mohammed Arif claimed when the call was made, the ambulance operator told the caller that it would be a two-hour wait before a crew could get there.

However, West Midlands Ambulance Service said the assessor dealing with the incident would have advised that arrival time to the worship centre "may be two hours", rather than stating that it "would be two hours".

Mr Arif said: "When the man collapsed there were three doctors who attended to him. One of the doctors called the ambulance. I was there too and I'm an eyewitness to this.

"We were informed that it would be two hours before the ambulance could get here. Aisha Mosque is five minutes by car from Walsall Manor. We took the person there in a car rather than waiting.

Mohammed Arif

"These delays in the ambulance reaching residents is a cause for concern and can lead to unnecessary death of individuals. The lack of availability of ambulances should be a serious concern for the NHS and for the people of Walsall too."

In response West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed that it received a 999 call to Rutter Street at 7.48pm which was given a 'category C2' rating requiring an ambulance response within 19 minutes.

A statement from the service read: “During the initial call, the caller told the call assessor that they would try and make arrangements to transport the patient to the nearby Walsall Manor Hospital and would ring us back if this was possible.

"Despite this, an ambulance was assigned to attend to the patient at 7.53pm five minutes after the call.

"We received a second call at 8.02pm advising us that the ambulance was no longer required as someone had been able to take the patient to hospital in the car, at which point the ambulance was stood down.”

Regarding delays getting to patients the trust added: “Sadly, we continue to see long hospital handover delays which means that when our crews arrive at A&E they are unable to handover patients to hospital staff.

"If our crews are left caring for patients that need admitting to hospital, they are simply unable to respond to patients in the community in a timely manner and this has an inevitable impact on the care of the patients in the community.

"We are working incredibly hard with our partners to find new ways to reduce these delays, so that our crews can respond more quickly and save more lives.”

The patient, whose sugar level had fallen, is recovering at home after a hospital check-up.

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