A Banbury teenager was taken to the Horton hospital on an old door after dislocating his kneecap while playing football in King’s Sutton as the ambulance took too long.
Daniel Plumbe, 17, was eventually placed on an old door from the pavilion and taken to the Horton General Hospital in a villager’s van as the rain started to fall more than three hours after the injury.
His father, Steve, said: “I seriously think he could have been left laying there until midnight.
“There was no sign of an ambulance arriving in the near future so we decided he could not lay there any longer.
“We took the decision to move him ourselves, putting him onto a table top from the pavilion and stretchering him on that into the back of a van which belonged to a local ex-player.
“Daniel was then transported to A&E in the van. He had no pain relief at all.”
Mr Plumbe, of Brinkburn Grove, Banbury, said the East Midlands Ambulance Service had been chased for a status update on two or three occasions while Daniel – an A-level pupil at Chenderit School – was still laying on the pitch.
“This was three-and-a-half hours later. To make matters even worse it had started to rain and the temperature was dropping,” said Mr Plumbe.
“We were simply told there were higher priority cases and they could not even give us an estimated time of arrival.
“This really highlights the issues facing the NHS and how overstretched they are. Everyone at King’s Sutton football club was fantastic and though busy, the staff at the Horton were great.
“I’m pleased to say our son is recovering. He’s in a leg brace for six weeks.”
East Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman Gulnaz Katchi said: “We received the 999 call at 3.40pm on Saturday and the caller reported a patient with a knee injury.
“Although the incident was not categorised as life-threatening, we are sorry for the distress the delay will have caused the patient and others who were trying to help.
“Unfortunately due to high demand, we were unable to send a response as quickly as we wanted to. Our emergency ambulances were already busy responding to other 999 calls.
“Our patient experience team is ready to hear from patients or their representatives about their experiences whether positive or not so good.
“We’d appreciate talking with the family to hear about their experience and to have the opportunity to explain our response to their call.”
Keith Strangwood, chairman of the Keep the Horton General Campaign said: “We’ve been saying for a long time that the NHS really must have more money and resources put in to it.
“Ambulance services all over the country are stretched and these unacceptable long waits are becoming commonplace.”