‘Serious incidents’ that led to deaths will be thoroughly examined says ambulance trust


The ambulance service that serves the Bedford area has logged seven ‘serious incidents’ in a month - with patients dying in five of them.

Figures for December released by the East of England Ambulance Service are more than double compared to the same month in the previous year.

The deaths are the result of ambulance delay, hospital delay or clinical treatment.

Of the seven ‘serious incidents’, two were in Bedfordshire.

A spokesman for the trust said that all seven will be ‘thoroughly examined’ and measures will be put in place to ensure they would not be repeated.

“Call numbers average about 2,400 each day so the number of complaints we receive and the serious incidents reported every year is a small amount given how many patients we come into contact with,” he said.

“But when patient care concerns are raised - be it by a patient, their family, or a member of staff - we look into each and every case and those involved.

“Further to that, our serious incidents are thoroughly examined, reported externally, and measures put into place to help prevent such incidents happening again.

“This could mean extra training for staff, new procedures or guidelines introduced, disciplinary action and so on.”

The previous month of November saw three serious incidents but the Trust recorded 105 in total in 2014.

Recently, the Trust has come under fire for a string of failings including an incident that saw the body of a man left on the floor of an ambulance station because staff wanted to finish work on time.

James Harrison, 32, had died in September and was taken to Ely ambulance station to be transported to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

But instead paramedics left him on the floor of the station for more than an hour until their colleagues to start the next shift.

It came a year after the trust was branded chaotic by a coroner investigating the death of three-month-old Bella Hellings.

The tot stopped breathing after suffering a fit at her home in Thetford, Norfolk and died before ambulance crews arrived 26 minutes after a 999 call.

And they were also criticised over the death of Elouise Keeling, 14, who died from an asthma attack while an ambulance went to the wrong address in June 2013.