Werribee mother fuming over two hour wait for an ambulance

Erin Lynch is fuming after her son, Patrick, broke his arm last week and triple-zero told her she faced a two-hour wait for an ambulance. Photo: Damjan Janevski

A Werribee woman was left gobsmacked when told her autistic son, who had broken his arm, faced a two-hour wait for an ambulance earlier this month.

Erin Lynch drove her six-year-old son Patrick to Werribee Mercy Hospital herself after he fell off the monkey bars at Westgrove Primary School on June 8.

Ms Lynch, who was at the school at the time of the incident, said she called triple-0 and was told there would be a wait of up to two hours for an ambulance.

Ms Lynch said Patrick was screaming in pain throughout the ordeal and wouldn’t let her touch him.

“We had to transport him ourselves, which I think is ridiculous,” she said.

“Paramedics would have wrapped it up and stabilised him, given him pain relief.”

Ms Lynch drove the five kilometres to Werribee Mercy, where Patrick had X-rays and was bandaged and medicated before being transferred to Sunshine Hospital for emergency surgery.

Scans showed Patrick had broken both his right wrist and arm just above his elbow.

Patrick broke his arm last week. Photo: Damjan Janevski
Patrick broke his arm last week. Photo: Damjan Janevski

Ambulance Victoria’s acting general manager of emergency operations, Mick Stephenson, said priority was given to the most critical and urgent cases.

“Based on the information provided … the case was deemed suitable for a non-emergency ambulance response,” Mr Stephenson said.

“The call-taker advised it could take up to two hours for a non-emergency ambulance.

“We understand it can be frustrating to wait for an ambulance but we need to ensure our emergency ambulances are available for the sickest people in our community.

“The caller was advised it was also safe and appropriate for them to take the patient to hospital, which they elected to do,” Mr Stephenson said.

“We advised the caller to call back if the patient’s condition deteriorated.”