Specialist ambulance needed

Rapidly rising covid cases are putting great pressure on NHS resources

Motorists entering or leaving Rye via Udimore Road on Thursday morning could have been forgiven for thinking that there had been a major incident at a small block of flats, if the number of emergency vehicles parked outside was anything to go by.

In fact, at around 10am an ambulance had been called to a flat at Badger Gate, Udimore Road to take a bariatric patient to hospital. Upon arrival it was discovered that the patient was so seriously obese that it was not possible to remove them from the flat by normal methods, nor was the ambulance suitable for the transport of someone this size.

As a result a specialist ambulance and crew were brought from Ashford, and Sussex Fire and Rescue were called in to assist in the removal of the patient. Having transferred them on to a trolley designed for the purpose, the operation then involved removing patio doors from the back entrance to the ground floor flat and constructing a temporary roadway over soft ground round to the car park at the front in which, by now, some seven emergency vehicles and 10 or twelve crew members were gathered.

Great care had to be taken with the move and final, exhaustive checks of the patient were made before being lifted into the ambulance. Finally, some two hours after arrival the journey to hospital began. 

A crew member from the Fire and Rescue service later commented that this sort of operation, while not common, was, nevertheless, being seen more often as the problems of obesity grew.

Photo: John Minter

Image Credits: John Minter .


  1. This is an unnecessary account of a distressing event for an individual who will be easily identified to some as a result.
    It describes an undignified scene and seems to invite opinion and condemnation.
    Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, those in a possession of the full facts are not at liberty to share them via your unregulated site.

  2. I’m disgusted to read how you have sensationalised this situation, we’re is your respect for this unwell patient , you have incorrect facts
    I know that this person regular attends hospital with no problems leaving his home .


  3. Thank you Bryony Isted and Janet Warren for your comments. The story was published because the presence of so many emergency vehicles had caused considerable local curiosity, particularly with passing traffic. There is considerable human interest here as it also demonstrates the care that our public services take with vulnerable people of all descriptions. In this instance a lot of detail was deliberately left out and the scene was described in a factual and unsensational way. I was there at the time and the facts, as described in the article, are correct.

  4. Just because ‘the presence of so many emergency vehicles had caused considerable local curiosity ‘ does not mean that Rye News is free to cause distress and embarrassment to the person at the centre of this ‘story’.
    Like Bryony Isted I am too am disgusted with your coverage.

  5. It was inevitable that the political correctness brigade would have a field day with this article . Instead of going around forever looking for something to offend their sensitivities I respectfully suggest that these snowflakes consider taking a more circumspect view , considering the huge cost to society of obesity .

  6. I’m a big fan of Rye News, but have noticed over the past few weeks a bit of slippage in editorial control: has the editor left?

    Regarding this piece I’m not sure the complaints are about ‘political correctness’ (a refuge phrase of the inarticulate) but just why this article has been so poorly edited: to me it appears gossip and prurient innuendo. Still the other article by Mr Minter in this weeks edition – ‘The Killer Had Lived Here’ (Er no, he hadn’t actually), is so full of inaccuracies to be laughable: come on editor, I know the staff are not journalists so more guidance is needed; in the past you have written respectful, searching pieces about things that really concern Rye folk.

  7. The definition of ‘circumspect’ is wary, careful, cautious and guarded. It is exactly this approach that all those who have offended one of your correspondents have suggested the website should have taken.
    Incidentally, the term ‘snowflake’ is an intended insult which is very much of the moment but originally came about in the 1860s in Missouri to describe anyone opposed to the abolition of slavery – in other words a white supremacist – the very sort of person who would describe anyone today with liberal tendencies a ‘snowflake’!
    Ii’s not a very pleasant term and is best avoided.

  8. Malcolm Southall, you think the ‘political correctness brigade’ have had their sensitivities offended?
    Absolutely not – you and John Minter have made assumptions that are false and in doing so have caused justified anger.
    The obesity epidemic that you refer to had no part to play in this tragic event.


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