‘I would not wish this even on my worst enemy’ - Peterborough woman waits 10 hours on spinal board for ambulance to arrive

Siobhan Collins
Siobhan Collins
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A young woman left lying on a spinal board in pain for more than 10 hours while she waited for an ambulance to arrive said the experience was “traumatising.”

Siobhan Collins (21) was forced to stare at the ceiling while wearing a neck brace and was even stopped from going to the toilet as she was not allowed to move due to a suspected spinal injury.

Siobhan Collins waiting on the spinal board

Siobhan Collins waiting on the spinal board

The ordeal at the Minor Illness and Injury Unit (MIIU) in Thorpe Road finally ended after midnight on Wednesday last week when Siobhan was taken to A&E. She said she was diagnosed with severe soft tissue damage and whiplash.

The East of England Ambulance Service has now apologised to Siobhan and her family and to an 84-year-old man who was left waiting for an ambulance in Peterborough for 11 hours.

As documented by the Peterborough Telegraph in recent weeks the ambulance service has been under severe pressure this winter.

Speaking about her experience at the MIIU, Siobhan from Bretton said: “It was very traumatising. I would not wish this even on my worst enemy.

“I do understand why it took them so long with everything going on at the moment in the NHS, but I do think nearly 11 hours was a bit too long. The two paramedics who turned up were brilliant.”

Siobhan was a passenger in a taxi which was hit by a car two Mondays ago. She was taken to A&E at Peterborough City Hospital but was discharged. The following day she was in severe pain and was referred to the MIIU where a doctor felt a lump in the back of her head and thought it could be a spinal injury.

Siobhan was then put in a neck brace and left lying on a spinal board before eventually being taken back to A&E.

Siobhan’s mother Pauline Collins said she was “pretty disgusted” her daughter was left lying on the spinal board for so long. She said she will be putting in a complaint to the ambulance service and city hospital, which she is unhappy at for discharging Siobhan quickly after the collision.

An ambulance service spokesman said: “We would like to apologise to Siobhan and her family for the distress caused by the wait.

“We prioritise patients with immediately life-threatening conditions first, and on that day we experienced high demand with 440 emergency calls in Cambridgeshire.

“Two separate ambulance crews were dispatched to the patient but had to be diverted to more serious calls.”

A hospital spokeswoman said the family are able to register a complaint.