An anguished Peterborough mum has told of her disbelief after her daughter was refused an ambulance despite an horrific injury to her leg on Tuesday afternoon (24 April).
Nine-year-old Kiera Maker, of Norburn, Bretton, Peterborough, was left with a gaping wound below her left kneecap after slipping on grass and catching it on the edge of a manhole cover close to her family home.
The Watergall Primary School pupil underwent a 90-minute operation at Peterborough City Hospital in the early hours on Wednesday, receiving about 25 stitches for the wound.
But that was only after she had been taken by taxi to the hospital’s Emergency Department after a 999 operator had told family and friends that the incident did not warrant an ambulance.
They were told that a nurse would phone back for further clinical assessment.
Kiera’s mum Kelly Smith (30), of Norburn, said: “It wasn’t until I got to hospital that everything hit me. I just couldn’t believe they would not send an ambulance out. I was just sitting there in total shock and disgusted with it.”
Kiera had been playing with her seven-year-old brother and neighbour Cheryl Wymer’s 10-year-old son when the incident took place at about 4pm.
Another neighbour spotted the injury from her home and carried Kiera inside the building and called 999, while her daughter raised the alarm with Miss Smith.
Speaking to the ET yesterday after being released from hospital on Wednesday, Kiera said: “I thought I was going to die.”
She added: “It was disgusting looking at the bone. You could see where it had ripped open, the blood, and it was disgusting in the middle.”
Miss Smith was forced to call a taxi to get her daughter to hospital as none of the group are able to drive. But the journey was an uncomfortable one for Kiera who said she said felt “like a toy” at the mercy of the vehicle’s movements.
Kiera will be off school for up to three weeks and has to use a walking frame as she recovers.
A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAS) said: “Information given to our control room by a caller who had seen the girl falling was that this was a large gash down to the knee cap but that the bleeding had been controlled. From this the call was coded as a non-emergency.
“It is apparent now that this was unfortunately a severe cut deep through the leg under the knee, and this information would have elicited an emergency response.
“If the family wish to contact us we would be happy to discuss this further. We wish the patient a good recovery.”
Mrs Wymer, who witnessed the 999 call being made, said: “We stressed more than enough times how bad that knee was.”
The manhole cover has now been cordoned off following a complaint from Miss Smith to Peterborough City Council.
In March, the EEAS came under fire over the amount of time it took for an ambulance to arrive at the scene of a 999 call after a teenage girl collapsed in a football match at The Riverside Pavilion, in Candy Street, Woodston.