ON October 7, I was in Ross-on-Wye high street with my husband, Ian Farmer, when we heard a loud crack.

A gentleman had fallen outside the Costa Coffee shop. We went across to see if we could help and already a few people were gathering around the gentleman asking if he was okay.

The Cancer Research shop got him a cushion and someone from Costa brought him water.

An ambulance was called as the gentleman had a large swelling on the back of his head.


We were somewhat shocked to hear that there were no ambulances available. The man on the telephone again explained that this was a 91-year-old with a heavy bang to the head, his arm also cut and bleeding, and he was clearly somewhat shaken up.

None of us there were medically trained to know how serious the injuries could be. The emergency services then asked if someone could drive him to A&E.

We carefully got him into the car and off we went to Hereford some 25 minutes away.

What are your thoughts?

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We were more than happy to help, but without someone medically trained, how do any of us know that moving him was the right thing to do? A spinal injury could have been present and moving him may have resulted in paralysis. Secondly, what would happen in the worst case scenario, if the gentleman died in our car and, essentially, in our care?

After this incident, I saw many posts from other people in Ross explaining issues they had trying to get an ambulance. One report even told of an 80-year-old taking a bus to A&E with a broken pelvis.

Hereford Hospital covers a large area and needs more ambulances and better response times to deal with a growing population in Herefordshire.

In January it was announced that nationally there would be an additional 800 ambulances over a two-year period; how many of those 800 are actually on our roads?