East Midlands Ambulance Service apologises for delay to treat teen’s dislocated elbow

Kevin Charles (left) drove 50 miles to care for his son Louis, who dislocated his elbow while skateboarding.
Kevin Charles (left) drove 50 miles to care for his son Louis, who dislocated his elbow while skateboarding.

THE chief executive of the East Midlands Ambulance service has apologised after a 16-year-old boy had to wait an hour for paramedics to arrive to treat a dislocated elbow.

Louis Charles, of Upton, Northampton, was in Market Harborough skatepark on Monday when he fell and landed on his arm bending it in the wrong direction.

An ambulance was called and Louis’s father Kevin set off from his office in Birmingham, 50 miles away from the skatepark.

Mr Charles said he was then amazed when he arrived at the skatepark just minutes after the paramedics.

He said: “As Louis was in so much pain, his friends took control of the phone and kept calling me when I was driving to update me on the situation.

“To my disbelief, they called the ambulance service another three times as they were panicking about the situation and the agony my son was in.

“I drove and listened in disbelief as after 20 minutes, nothing, 30 minutes, nothing, 40 minutes, nothing, when finally as I pulled into the skatepark in Market Harborough, some 50 miles from my office in Birmingham, and nearly one hour after the initial call was made, the ambulance had only just arrived.

“I was and am absolutely disgusted how a 16-year-old can be left in absolute agony for one hour and that I can arrive from Birmingham 50 miles away as quick as an alleged emergency service.”

Phil Milligan, East Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive, said it was “clear” that paramedics did not get to Louis quickly enough. He said: “Whilst the injury Louis sustained was not life-threatening, I do appreciate the pain and distress he experienced and I regret this delay in our response to him.

“We are currently implementing a series of change to improve our response times.

“At the time of this incident, our local crews were engaged in responding to life-threatening calls, and so a more distant crew attended Louis. After assessing him at the scene, we took Louis to hospital for further treatment and I understand he is making a good recovery.”

Mr Charles said his son was indeed making a good recovery but he had complained to the ambulance service as the delay had caused him unnecessary further pain and suffering.

He said: “My concern is that the poor lad was in trauma after it happened and was being sick and was on the verge of blacking out.

“Nobody had been told to keep him warm and by the times paramedics got there he was so cold that all his veins had shut down and paramedics could not get any morphine in to him.”

Louis’s fall from his skateboard was captured on video by one of his friends. Mr Charles said he showed this video to doctors in Accident and Emergency at Kettering General Hospital and said it even made them “wince”.