Royal Cornwall Hospital patient transported by mail van

An ambulance service in Cornwall has apologised to a patient after he was transported to an accident and emergency department in a mail van.

The injured fisherman was flown to the Royal Cornwall Hospital on Friday but arrived earlier than expected.

This meant an ambulance was unavailable to transport him 500m from the helipad, so a crewman flagged down a van.

South Western Ambulance Service said it was "not notified" of the incident until after the patient was admitted.

A statement from the service said: "The crew of the helicopter [from RNAS Culdrose] ultimately made the decision to ask a delivery driver to take the patient the very short distance to A&E at Treliske.

"The original ambulance resource had been re-assigned on an urgent 999 call and had not yet arrived at the rendezvous point.

"The South Western Ambulance Service Trust apologise for any distress caused to the patient."

A spokesman for the Royal Cornwall Hospital said the patient, who had been admitted with a minor head injury, had been checked over and discharged.

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