Ambulance trust makes apology for its failure to provide help sooner

Chris Campbell
Chris Campbell

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AN AMBULANCE trust has apologised after a woman who suffered a brain haemorrhage was left waiting for nearly 80 minutes to get help.

South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) wrote to Chris Campbell after he complained about the treatment his wife Christine received.

In the letter, Scas apologised for an NHS 111 call handler failing to find out more about the 64-year-old’s condition, that when an ambulance was sent out it was diverted to another emergency, and the trust failed to meet the targeted response of 30 minutes.

Mr Campbell, 63, a coach driver for the Ministry of Defence, said: ‘I’m not very happy as it seems Scas is just going through the motions to keep me happy and a good portion of their apology feels fabricated.

‘It seems they are just making excuses for their incompetence. That said, however, there’s not a lot of point in pursuing the matter any further as Scas isn’t going to change what it’s already said and we’ll just have to accept this and get on with it.

‘And hopefully Scas will take more care with the way calls are handled.’

As reported, Christine started feeling sick, getting headaches and then collapsed in her home in Fielder Court, Stakes Road, Purbrook.

Despite Mrs Campbell’s family making three 999 calls asking for an ambulance, it did not turn up until 80 minutes later.

She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham where she was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage and is still getting hospital treatment.

In the letter addressed to Mr Campbell, Scas apologises for shortfalls and said it has learnt its lessons.

Luci Stephens, assistant director of operations, said: ‘I would firstly like to offer you my sincere apologies for the distress caused because of this incident, not only for your wife but also to you and your daughter who was with your wife at the time.

‘I would also like to apologise for the delay in responding to you.’

An audit conducted for the incident that happened in September found an NHS clinician should have ‘further probed the condition’ over the phone and that person has been given further training.

A 999 call was made at 11.53am, and a clinician called the family back at 12.40pm when they were able to do so and said an ambulance would be sent out and with them within 30 minutes.

An ambulance was dispatched at 1.05pm, but at 1.07pm was diverted.

At 1.12pm another ambulance was sent and reached Mrs Campbell at 1.19pm.

Scas said a rapid response vehicle was not sent out throughout this time as none were available.