An elderly man waited for over two hours for an ambulance after he fell in Banbury town centre today (Monday).
The man, believed to in his 80s, was covered in blankets and coats given by passers by, including two college students, to keep him warm.
The man fell just after 9am outside the Horse and Jockey pub, West Bar and an ambulance arrived at 11.18am after his condition was reassessed and he was made a priority.
David Gallagher, spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), said: “The original call received at 9.05am was triaged as a category three emergency (not life-threatening or serious) which under the national Ambulance Response Programme.
“We - like all ambulance services - are required to get to 90 per cent of such emergencies within two hours.
“The ambulance arrived at 11.18am. Whilst we always endeavour to get to all our less seriously ill or injured patients within national response time targets (two hours category three; three hours category four), it’s not always possible.”
Mr Gallagher said Oxfordshire’s 26 ambulances and eight rapid response vehicles on duty were already all committed to 19 more seriously ill and injured patients - and 16 more category three patients were also waiting for help.
“We had four patients in Banbury alone in that window who had collapsed or had severe breathing difficulties (ranging from an elderly patient to a four-year-old child),” he said.
A SCAS clinician spoke to the West Bar casualty at 11.05am and due to potentially worsening symptoms and the fact he was outside, he was prioritised to receive the next available ambulance which arrived 13 minutes later.
Mr Gallagher said: “We would encourage the patient or their family to contact our Patient Experience Team on 0300 123 9280 if they have any concerns about their treatment today.”
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust said their A&E departments were no busier than usual today.