Pensioner waited an hour for medics

A Peterhead pensioner was left 'lying in agony' for almost an hour while he waited for medical help to arrive.

Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 10:00 am
John Maskame waited an hour before medical help arrived

John Maskame (81), fell from his electric bike near to the town’s academy on Wednesday, after he hit a pot hole in the road.

The pensioner, of Ravenscraig Road, suffered a broken hip in the accident, but had to rely on help from teaching staff from the academy and a passer by while he waited for medical attention.

A doctor with Aberdeen Rapid Response arrived on the scene an hour after the initial call for an ambulance was made.

But it was a full 90 minutes before an amublance arrived to eventually transfer Mr Maskame to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

His son William branded the situation ‘disgraceful’ and said no-one should have to wait for that long for an ambulance to arrive.

He told the Buchanie: “My dad was crossing over from the academy onto Victoria Road when he hit the pot hole and came off his bike, hurting himself quite badly.

“He told me that a passer-by managed to get him off the road and sat with him until the ambulance eventually arrived.

“There were also two teachers from the academy who came out to help as dad was in quite a bit of pain.

“It took around 60 minutes for a doctor to arrive and then the ambulance was another 30 minutes after that. I know the paramedics have a hard job and I don’t blame them for this, but the system itself is wrong,” he said.

One of the teachers who went to Mr Maskame’s aid said that she and another gentleman sat with him, leaning up against a wall, for an hour before a medic arrived on the scene.

“I called the ambulance just before noon and then again 30 minutes later,” she said. “Eventually a 4x4 arrived with a doctor - who had come from Aberdeen - and administered morphine to Mr Maskame, but it was another half-an-hour before an ambulance arrived.”

John underwent an operation on his hip on Thursday and it is hoped he will make a full recovery.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Ambulance Service told us: “We received a call at 1159 hours on Wednesday, April 18, to attend an incident at Prince Street Peterhead and the incident was not considered to be immediately life-threatening.

“We arrived on scene at 12.53 and Mr Maskame was safely transported to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, arriving at 1442 hours.

“Mr Maskame waited longer than we would have liked as we were experiencing very high levels of demand at the time and we will be apologising to him directly.

“We are currently in the process of training and recruiting an additonal 1,000 paramedics over five years which will further enhance our cover across Scotland.”

Commenting on the situation, Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said no-one should have to wait that long for an ambulance, but added: “Unfortunately this type of experience has become all too commonplace in recent years.

“It is clearly a service under pressure and there have been issues locally with staff and vehicle cover.”