Barkingside grandmother ‘disgusted’ at ambulance delay for bleeding two-year-old

A grandmother was left disgusted after an ambulance never turned up for her 22-month-old granddaughter who was bleeding heavily from the mouth.

Susan Cioni, of Barkingside, called an ambulance for her granddaughter, Azzurra, who fell off a table cutting her face, when she could not stop the heavy bleeding.

The youngster was left bleeding from her mouth and nose for 40 minutes before it stopped with no sign of the ambulance.

Mrs Coini said: “I was so scared because she was so young so I called an ambulance at around 5.40pm and by 7pm it still hadn’t arrived. So I rang them back to cancel it and I was given no explanation even when I asked if it was normal for an ambulance not to come out for a child under two.

“I couldn’t have driven to the hospital myself because I had to calm Azzurra down and try to stop the bleeding at the same time.”


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Mrs Cioni was told that it was a busy period and if the situation worsened she should call the London Ambulance Service back, when the incident happened in Emmott Avenue on May 2.

She added: “I was just disgusted that we were left waiting, when the ambulance service deploy booze buses at the weekend for adults and it is self-inflicted. I was never informed that we would be waiting for a long time, she could have been in a sorry state.”

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A London Ambulance Service spokesman said the incident was not a “high-priority call”, although it was given greater importance because of the child’s age.

He added: “From the information received in our control room, the patient was reported to be fully conscious and breathing and not in a life-threatening condition.

“Unfortunately due to very high demand, we were unable to send an ambulance as quickly as we would have liked and we are very sorry for this delay. An ambulance was dispatched at 6.55pm but was diverted to a higher priority call.”

People affected by ambulance delays are invited to call the patient experiences department on 020 3069 0240.

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