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Sat nav sends London ambulance crew to Manchester


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Sat nav sends London ambulance crew to Manchester


Last updated at 10:44am on 1st December 2006




An ambulance crew transferring a patient to hospital were sent 200 miles in the wrong direction by a faulty satnav.

The paramedics were transferring a patient 12 miles across Essex but ended up near Manchester before they realised the mistake.

The London Ambulance Service crew were asked to take a mental health patient from King George ' s Hospital in Ilford to a specialist hospital in Brentwood, a journey that should take about 30 minutes.

However, the fault on their on-board navigation system meant they were sent north and ended up on an eight-hour round trip.

The crew are understood to be new to the job and had never been to the mental health hospital.

The journey began in the early hours of Tuesday and the patient did not reach Mascalls Park Hospital in Brentwood until the afternoon.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said the patient was comfortable throughout and their health was not put in danger by the delay.

He said: "We believe that the crew, who had not been to this particular hospital before, followed the directions given by the navigation system, without manually confirming their destination.

"We understand that they reached the outskirts of Manchester before realising they were heading to the wrong destination.

"The patient was in a comfortable condition at all times while in our care and he arrived safely at Mascalls Park Hospital early that afternoon."

The paramedics are among dozens of drivers who have been caught out by their satnav systems.

It was revealed a Four Tops tribute band missed a concert this week after they set their satnav system for Chelmsford instead of Cheltenham.

Last month, a woman dodged oncoming traffic for 14 miles after misreading her satnav and driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway.

The young woman, who has not been named, joined the A3M - which links Portsmouth and London - on the southbound side but then headed north.

She drove almost a third of the way to London in the fast lane before she was stopped by police at a roundabout near Liss in Hampshire.

In the Wiltshire village of Luckington, dozens of drivers have blithely followed directions from their satnav systems, not realising that the recommended route goes through a ford. Several motorists have had to be towed out.

However, enterprising local farmers have capitalised on this, charging motorists £25 a time to rescue their stranded vehicles.

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