AMBULANCES bosses were under fire after a man who fell and hit his head was told it could be three hours before paramedics arrived.
The patient received the shock message after he collapsed outside Riverside House.
In the event, an ambulance actually turned up in just over half-an-hour, by which time the unnamed man had already been put in a car and driven to A&E.
But concerns were raised that extra worry was caused by the three-hour prediction given when Rotherham Borough Council staff dialled 999.
Cllr Emma Hoddinott (pictured) was having lunch in the building’s cafe with regeneration boss Damien Wilson when the man fell just outside.
She said: “This man was in some distress, so Damien went outside to help.
“He had a head injury, so a member of staff phone for the ambulance, but was told it would be a three-hour wait.
“Staff were worried about this man and didn’t know what to do.
“We’re hearing stories up and down the country about long waits for an ambulance.
“It’s frightening because we rely on them to be there quickly.”
A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokeswoman said of the incident on January 15: “An ambulance was dispatched to the scene and arrived just over half-an-hour after the 999 call was made to find that the patient had made his own arrangements to travel to hospital.”
She added: “We always prioritise life-threatening emergencies.
“During periods of high demand, it may take longer to reach patients with less serious conditions and our call handlers can give an indication of the anticipated timescale.”