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There are further concerns that injured riders are being forced to wait too long for ambulances to arrive, after a casualty was left for more than four hours on 6 November.

Danya Henley was knocked unconscious for several minutes and dislocated her shoulder after falling from her horse, April (pictured below right on a separate occasion), in woods near Sheffield at around 4pm. Despite the seriousness of her injuries it took four hours for an ambulance to reach her.

Last month a rider in Gloucestershire had to wait for over two hours in an arena with suspected serious neck injuries after a showjumping fall (news, 6 November).

Ms Henley’s riding companion immediately called 999 after the accident, and a first response paramedic car arrived 40 minutes later.

“They didn’t have any blankets to help keep me warm and I was freezing,” the 21-year-old told H&H.

“They couldn’t inject me with painkillers because they couldn’t find my veins because I was so cold, so all I could have was gas and air.”

At around 8pm an ambulance arrived to take Ms Henley to Rotherham hospital, which resulted in her not receiving pain relief until after 9pm.dayna N april

“The amount of time it took was ridiculous,” Ms Henley added. “When there have been accidents on the yard in the past it has never taken more than 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. It could have been a really dangerous situation.”

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) has apologised to Ms Henley for the delay.

The first response paramedics told Ms Henley that one of the reasons for the delay was that cutbacks were leading to resources being stretched.

When H&H questioned the YAS as to whether this could be a factor, they declined to comment.

“We would like to reassure members of the public that patients’ needs are at the heart of everything we do, and providing a safe, responsive and high quality service to the people of Yorkshire is our main priority,” added the YAS’ Ben Holdaway.

Ref: H&H Thursday 27 December, 2014

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