Wiltshire Publications

Shock as 999 call handler doesn’t know of Westbury White Horse

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 10:19 am.

A LOCAL family has slammed the emergency services after they say they waited two hours for an ambulance as the call handler had never heard of the Westbury White Horse.

Catherine Boynton’s daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Steve Denner, were walking their dog on the White Horse in Westbury last month when Steve was knocked off his feet by his dog and broke his leg.

Catherine said, “I had a call from my daughter to tell me what had happened and we went straight up there. Jill called 999 at about 7.30pm and explained very clearly where they were, but the call handler had never heard of the White Horse in Westbury.

“She was put through to Exeter and then to Bristol, and she had to call them eight times to find out where they were. It was dreadful. I don’t understand how they couldn’t work it out. She told them BA13 for the postcode, and said the village of Bratton, but they still didn’t know. We waited two hours before the ambulance arrived and even then, it had come from Bristol apparently.

“It was a horrendous situation. Steve was in agony but luckily not a life threatening situation – if he had a heart attack, he would have been dead by the time they arrived.

“We have made a complaint because it needs investigating – it’s unbelievable really. It’s an historic landmark in Wiltshire and they should be able to find out where it is in an emergency.

“Although it was a dreadful situation, we would like to express our sincere thanks to two young men and their girlfriends who were so helpful. They moved their cars over to Steve to block the wind and they stayed with us until the ambulance arrived. We didn’t get their names but they were marvellous, so we would like to thank them very much for all their help.

“Steve had to have pins and plates put in his leg and is out of action for 12 weeks, but he’s recovering.”

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust gave the following information to the White Horse News when asked about the incident: “Call received at 19:44 to reports of a male with a leg injury • We attended with one ambulance, arriving at the scene at 20:42 • Casualty was taken to the RUH in Bath for treatment.” They were asked if it was correct that the call handler didn’t know where the White Horse was, but they failed to respond.