A man who ran into a hospital to get help for a cyclist who had suffered fatal head injuries when he crashed outside has said he was told to call 999 because no doctors were available.
Nick Wilsdon, aged 44, lost control of his bike on Upper Maudlin Street outside Bristol Royal Infirmary and crashed into a van travelling in the opposite direction according to eyewitness Marc Banting, reports the Bristol Post.
The incident which happened on Thursday 1 June was witnessed by Marc Banting, 43, who went to Mr Wilsdon’s help but realised he should not move him since it was clear he had sustained serious head injuries.
Instead, he rushed into the hospital to summon assistance for the stricken cyclist, only to be told he needed to call 999.
"I ran into the BRI and asked them to send a doctor out, but they refused.
"They said the doctors were all busy in A&E and they couldn't just call one out of there, and to call 999 as it would be quicker.
"I told them there was a man dying in the street and they were not interested and reiterated to call 999.
"We had to call for an ambulance which took its time as it was rush hour – it was easily 15 minutes, but it felt like an eternity."
But a spokesperson for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust insisted that the advice given to Mr Banting was correct.
"We advise everyone to call 999 if an accident has taken place,” they said.
"This is to ensure that patients are treated safely by professionals with the right training and essential equipment to do so before they are brought to hospital.
"Releasing staff from our A&E may also put patients already in our care at risk."
Mr Banting also recounted details of the fatal crash. He said: “It was horrific. At that point, Upper Maudlin Street is four lanes wide, he was in the middle of the four lanes.
“The road was busy and traffic was not moving that fast heading [downhill] towards the Bear Pit, but it was faster coming in the opposite direction.
“The cyclist appeared to lose control of his bike and fell sideways into the white van, and his head made contact with the passing van.”
He added: “The van slowed down as if it was going to stop, but then carried on its way up St Michael's Hill.
“It is possible the van driver did not know the cyclist had hit him as it was on the side not head on.”
Mr Wilsdon died in hospital from his injuries several days after the crash.
A musician, he played fiddle with Bristol-based folk band Calico Jack and had also worked as a music therapist in Palestine and with people in Bristol suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
His family said he was a "wonderful, talented, much-loved man" and that he had “an enormous group of friends all over the world who were always glad to see him.
"He was at base an intellectual who loved to explore ideas but was also a talented musician,” they added.
"His family Jo, Colin, Toby, Sophie and his partner Margarita miss him deeply."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.