A rider from Sheffield who suffered a fall from her horse has raised fears over the length of ambulance response times after waiting four hours to be taken to hospital.
Dayna Henley, aged 21, was riding her horse through Grange Park Woodlands, between Thorpe Hesley and Kimberworth,when she hit a tree branch and was knocked to the ground.
Her riding partner Alan Turton, 68, immediately called 999 – but despite Dayna suffering concussion, a dislocated shoulder and being in extreme pain, it took four hours for an ambulance to arrive to take her to hospital.
The rider said: “If I had a broken neck, or if I’d suffered a puncture wound and was bleeding, would it still have taken them the same amount of time? I thought it was appalling that they took so long.”
Yorkshire Ambulance Service has apologised over the long delay, and said it is investigating further.
Dayna said the accident happened when she tried to direct her horse, April, up a bank in the woods.
“She started to fall backwards and panicked, then tried to go through some trees. I ended up being swiped off by a couple of branches.
“I hit the ground and knocked myself out for a couple of minutes.”
Alan brought Dayna round and called for an ambulance at around 4.10pm. Two paramedics arrived in a rapid response vehicle 40 minutes later.
“I was absolutely freezing but they didn’t have a blanket with them,” she said.
“The only pain relief I got in the woods was gas and air. They pushed my shoulder back in without giving me painkillers. It was just agony for me.”
Dayna said: “I asked the paramedics why an ambulance hadn’t arrived and they told me I was in a difficult place to get to.
“In many equine cases they will send a helicopter, but they said there had been cutbacks.”
An ambulance came at shortly before 8pm to take Dayna to Rotherham Hospital.
“I wasn’t given any painkillers until roughly 9.25pm,” said the Meadowhall shop assistant, who is now recovering at home in Wincobank.
Ben Holdaway, locality director at the ambulance trust’s emergency operations centre, said its patient relations team were looking into the incident on November 6.
“We are sorry that Ms Henley is unhappy with our response to the 999 call,” he said. “We would like to reassure members of the public that patients’ needs are at the heart of everything we do.”