AN off-duty police officer who went to help an elderly man after he collapsed a metre from the doors of York Hospital said he was told to call for an ambulance.

Scott Moore, 37, who lives near Easingwold, said he was near the hospital entrance when a man who looked to be in his nineties fell over and appeared to be having chest problems.

But when Mr Moore and a nurse who was starting her shift called into the hospital for help, he said they were told the crash team would not go outside the building and they should call for an ambulance.

Mr Moore, a detective with West Yorkshire Police, said: “He was frothing at the mouth. He was banging at his chest saying ‘vascular, vascular’. I presumed it was to do with his heart.

“The guy on reception said ‘the crash team won’t come outside the hospital, you need to ring 999, you need to get an ambulance’.”

The nurse ran in to get a wheelchair and Mr Moore said they wheeled the man through the doors and he slipped from the chair as he had become unconscious.

Mr Moore said: “Then doctors and nurses came running through from all directions. There was eight to ten of them.”

However, he said he still had to wheel the man to A&E.

“The whole scenario was unbelievable.

You can’t imagine how his family would have felt if they had been there,” Mr Moore said.

A spokeswoman for York Hospital said they had a record of a man fainting and going home later that day in February.

She said: “Where a cardiac or respiratory arrest is suspected, action is taken to start basic resuscitation and summon help. A cardiac arrest team or a first responder is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via an emergency bleep system. A crash call would be placed for an incident on the hospital site including the grounds.

The Trust policy with regard to resuscitation off the main hospital site is that staff should dial 999 and ask for an ambulance stating the exact location and the condition of the patient.

“If there was an incident in the close proximity of the entrance to A&E, a common-sense approach would be taken by staff in the emergency department.”

Mr Moore recently spoke to The Press as he felt attention should be drawn to the matter.