Ombudsman ‘threat’ after Ilkley woman's hour-and-a-half wait for ambulance

Further action could be taken by Ilkley councillors over a 92-year-old woman’s hour-and-a-half wait for an ambulance.

As exclusively reported in the Gazette, Hilda Allen lay on the floor of the Clarke Foley Centre in town with a broken hip, as concerned people tried for more than 90 minutes to summon an ambulance.

The incident took place at the close of the annual Ilkley Good Neighbours Over-90s Party on September 29.

One emergency vehicle sent out was redirected to a higher priority call.

Ilkley Parish Council wrote to Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) about the incident.

YAS has now replied, apologising for the anxiety and distress caused, and explaining a clinical advisor talked to the 999 caller to check the situation was not life-threatening.

Parish clerk, Alan Draper, told the council on Monday Councillor Paul Kitching was of the opinion the matter should be taken a step further and referred to the ombudsman.

Councillor Mike Ridgeway also suggested the matter could be referred to the Department of Health through Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins.

The council is still debating its official response to YAS.

In the letter, emergency operations centre head of governance, Sheenagh Byrne, said: “The reason for the delay was as a consequence of the emergency workload we were dealing with at the time of the call.

“I would like to reassure you that we are committed to providing the best possible service we can for all the people in Ilkley and for all who call 999.”

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