Page last updated at 18:05 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Woman's fury over ambulance delay

A woman has said she was left dangerously ill after being told to wait by ambulance operators who said her condition was not life-threatening.

Theresa Coombs, 40, said her partner had to call for an ambulance three times before one was finally sent.

Ms Coombs, of Luton, Bedfordshire, who was bleeding internally because of an ectopic pregnancy, was treated by crews 30 minutes after the first call.

The East of England Ambulance Service has started an inquiry into the case.

'Disgusted'

Ms Coombs said call centre operators only sent help when her partner Dean Goodhew, 45, called for the third time on 12 October.

When she arrived at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital she was given a life-saving operation and told by surgeons that she would have been dead within half an hour without treatment.

Ms Coombs, who is off work for six weeks to recover, praised paramedics and hospital staff but said she was "disgusted" by the attitude of call centre staff.

A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: "We received last week an official complaint from a member of the family and we have initiated an immediate inquiry."


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