A woman was taken to the Ulster Hospital in an Ulsterbus after being injured when the vehicle stopped suddenly, it has emerged.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service confirmed that last Wednesday, July 19, a 999 call was received before 3pm after “a 64-year-old female who had fallen off a seat on the bus after the bus driver stopped suddenly.”
The patient had been on an Ulsterbus near Killinchy Street in Comber, Co Down, at the time and is understood to have injured her ankle.
The call was coded as a category five response, which put it behind more serious and life-threatening injuries.
A spokesperson for NIAS said: “At the earliest opportunity, a paramedic was allocated to the call at 4.10pm, arriving at 4.24pm”.
While a so-called ‘blue light’ transport was not deemed appropriate, it was eventually decided that the blue bus would do instead to transport the woman to the Dundonald hospital.
The paramedic had contacted control at 4.47pm, requesting a conveying resource and that an ICV (non-emergency) vehicle would be suitable to transport the patient to hospital.
By 5.13pm, the paramedic phoned to cancel the transport as the bus driver had agreed to take the woman to the Ulster Emergency Department.
“In appropriate circumstances (as in this case) a patient will be asked if they can utilise their own transport or public transport to make their way to the hospital. The paramedic accompanied the patient and ensured they arrived safely," the spokesman said.
A Translink spokesperson commented: “We can confirm the ambulance service was called to assist a passenger on board an Ulsterbus...(they were) subsequently taken to hospital. The incident is being investigated.”
Translink have been contacted for a response.