Extremely high 999 call volumes resulted in paramedics taking more than an hour to reach a footballer who was feared to have suffered serious neck injuries.
Chorley’s Marcus Carver was pole-axed in an aerial challenge with a Fylde player at Victory Park on New Year’s Day.
Mike Neild, who was at the match, said: “Carver was injured at around 4.25pm and was treated on the pitch for some 12 minutes before being stretchered off wrapped in foil and appearing semi-conscious at best. An ambulance was sent for but none arrived for over an hour.”
Initially it was thought that Carver had injured his back and neck.
The referee took both teams to the dressing rooms for about 15 minutes while Carver was treated.
A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) said: “The Trust was called to an incident at Victory Park, Chorley on January 1 at 4.30pm. A Paramedic arrived on a Rapid Response Vehicle at 5.42 and the patient was later taken to Royal Preston Hospital. The Trust is currently experiencing very high demand across the region and calls must be prioritised to ensure that we are able to attend the most seriously ill patients first. We did get to the patient as soon as we were able to and apologise that this couldn’t be any sooner. We hope that the patient is recovering well and if they would like to get in touch with our patient experience team we will be happy to discuss this further with them.”
Carver later tweeted: “I was lucky enough to escape with a broken nose and bone bruising, thanks for all the messages.”