THE Ambulance Trust that left a 10-year-old boy with a badly broken arm waiting nearly two hours for an ambulance has apologised to him and his family.

Great Western Ambulance Service has admitted the time taken to get to the patient was "unacceptable".

John Maddison was featured in the Gazette last week after his father complained to GWAS about the amount of time it took them to get his son to hospital.

John was at school in Nympsfield in November and broke his arm in two places. It took over an hour and 45 minutes before an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital.

His father Adrian Maddison, from Cam, complained to GWAS on November 12 and did not receive a response until last Tuesday - after they were contacted by the Gazette.

In the letter Tim Lynch, chief executive of GWAS, explained that all 999 calls are graded. Category A is life threatening conditions, such as heart attacks, category B refers to serious but not immediately life threatening conditions, such as haemorrhage, and category C calls are less serious incidents, such as fractures or falls, and this was the category John was put in.

Mr Lynch said: "I can confirm that this call was correctly categorised as a category C emergency with a one hour response time.

"Unfortunately this call coincided with an extremely busy period for our emergency service, between the hours of 12pm and 2pm we responded to 19 emergency calls, 10 of which were potentially life threatening."

He continued: "The times involved are unacceptable and I apologise and assure you that I do not underestimate the distress caused by this delay."

As a result of Mr Maddison's complaint the trust has made changes to its response protocols and patients who are outside or in a public space will be immediately upgraded for a faster response.

Mr Maddison said: "First of all there was no explanation as to why the letter was so late.

"When they say the service only has limited resources - perhaps they might be better off spending what they have on ambulances and drivers, do we not all pay ample taxes to have a service we can rely on when needed?"

Mr Maddison also questioned why there was no upgrading for children and elderly people, who need a quicker response.