Postcode problem sends ambulances wrong way
A pensioner’s postcode is putting her health at risk as ambulances keep going to the wrong address.
Terry Heath, from Reddingmuirhead, suffers from terminal chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has had to call for help seven times in the past year.
Her condition means she needs hospital treatment when she becomes short of breath or she could die.
But when the 69-year-old gives the emergency service the address and postcode - FK2 0DU - for her cottage, Holloville, in Shieldhill Road, ambulances have ended up a mile away in Shieldhill.
Ms Heath said: “It’s driving me mad. The last time I waited over an hour for the ambulance to get here and police had to re-direct it.
“During the strong winds the other week I couldn’t use my nebuliser because the power was out. I need an ambulance so I get treatment straight away, otherwise I could die.
“It’s really getting to be an uncomfortable and confusing situation, as well as downright dangerous.
‘‘The ambulances end up in somewhere just off Belmont Avenue in Shieldhill.
“The paramedics say they have been sent to some- where called McIntyre Crescent and the power engineer told me they didn’t know my house existed at this postcode.”
“I don’t have problems with my post, but when I’ve ordered something to be delivered courier companies have returned them because they have gone to the wrong address too.
“I know I’m going to die one day, but I’d rather it wasn’t because of something like this.”
The Scottish Ambulance Service has investigated Ms Heath’s claim and confirmed that there have been a couple of occasions when crews have ended up at the wrong location.
A spokesman for the service told the Falkirk Herald it has taken steps to ensure the problem won’t happen in future.
He added: “We do not rely solely on postcodes to plot a patient’s address and if there are any issues in finding a location, instructions are added to the system for future use.
“In the case of this patient, there are notes on the system to advise crews of the location.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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