A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl who was seriously injured in a road accident had to wait 40 minutes for an ambulance.
Libbie Wilson was left with a broken leg and badly damaged shoulder after she was hit by a van when she fell off a kerb near her home in Tonge Moor.
Her father, Mark Bolton, called 999 but the family had to wait double the usual time the North West Ambulance Service takes to respond to such calls.
Ambulance bosses have now apologised for the delay following the accident — but said the service was experiencing “high levels of activity”.
Mr Bolton, of Pegamoid Street, said it was “frightening” to have to wait for so long as his daughter lay in agony in the street.
The 45-year-old added: “She was in a lot of pain and with her age I thought she would be a high priority for the paramedics and they would arrive quickly.
“I called just after 6pm and when no-one had arrived by 6.20pm I called again as I was really worried — I called again 10 minutes after that because nothing had happened, we were really frightened.”
NWAS said the third call from Mr Bolton and further information he provided led them to “upgrade” the call.
An ambulance arrived seven minutes after the third call.
It was confirmed that after Mr Bolton made the initial call, at just after 6pm, the ambulance did not arrive until just before 6.45pm.
Mr Bolton said: “I just think there is a problem with how they prioritise calls as she should have been higher up the list.”
He added that the paramedics who attended agreed Libbie should have been treated faster.
Mr Bolton said: “One of the paramedics told me he had only started work at 6.30pm so it seems like they weren’t on their way before that.
“I was going mad at them but I think it is to do with the way the calls are prioritised.”
He said he is now considering making a formal complaint to NWAS.
A spokesman for the North West Ambulance said: “We are extremely sorry the patient’s family feel their daughter did not receive an appropriate response from us and do understand that waiting for an ambulance can be distressing for all involved.
“When received, all 999 calls are categorised within the control rooms, based on the information given by the caller, to ensure patients are assessed on the basis of their medical need, with those with immediately life-threatening conditions taking priority.
“Based on information given by the caller about the patient, the call was graded as 'green2', which requires a response within 20 minutes.
"Later on, due to further information given by the caller, the call was upgraded to a 'red2', which requires a response of eight minutes and we arrived on scene seven minutes from when the call was upgraded.
“Unfortunately at the time of this call we were experiencing high levels of activity and the patient waited longer than anticipated.
“We haven’t received a complaint from the patient’s family but we would urge them to contact us directly to discuss their concerns.”