Elderly woman stuck in ‘worst case of ambulance ramping’
AN elderly woman was forced to wait eight hours in an ambulance in what paramedics have described as the worst case of ramping ever seen in South Australia.
SA Ambulance Employees Association secretary Phil Palmer said the woman, aged in her 90s, was left stranded in the ambulance at Flinders Medical Centre on Monday.
"Eight hours straight is the worst in South Australia," Mr Palmer said.
"The poor lady had pressure sores and she's had her dignity denied."
A second ambulance carrying a patient was ramped at Flinders Medical Centre for five hours.
"I'm not surprised by anything anymore," Mr Palmer said.
"Every time we don't think it could get worse it does."
The ramping crisis has prompted the doctors' union to seek legal advice over fears staff could be sued.
SA Salaried Medical Officers Association senior industrial officer Bernadette Mulholland said there were concerns that a patient or their family could launch legal action against medical officers or the hospital over treatment.
In a statement, SA Health said: "The delays experienced by two patients at Flinders Medical Centre (on Monday) were completely unacceptable.
"We are currently reviewing why standard escalation processes failed and why the patients weren't transferred to the ED in a timely way."
About 100 health industry stakeholders last week attended a ramping summit.
The ambulance union has also taken SA Health and SA Ambulance Service to the employment tribunal over workload pressure and overtime.