Advising with empathy and experience

Man died after 90 minute ambulance delay.

A man confined to a wheelchair died after an ambulance allegedly took 90 minutes to arrive at his home – which is only a mile away from the nearest hospital.

The family of Martin Hale, 47, had telephoned 999 when he stopped breathing and collapsed on the floor but, despite a series of frantic calls, his family claim it took an hour-and-a-half for paramedics to arrive.

Mr Hale, who suffered from Type One Diabetes, eventually got to hospital, but his brain had been starved of oxygen and his parents made the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support. He had an 11-year-old daughter, Bella.

South Central Ambulance Service, which has been reported to have started using taxis because of a shortage of ambulances, has launched an investigation.

NHS trusts across the country are increasingly missing targets to reach patients within recommended time limits and the number of patients forced to wait more than four hours for a hospital bed has risen five-fold since 2011. National targets require ambulance services to respond to at least 75 per cent of life-threatening “red” calls within eight minutes.

Mr Hales’ mother Rita said: “Waiting for the ambulance to arrive was just awful. When no one came after my first call, I rang the ambulance again. I rang them three times in total.

“My daughter was also calling them at the same time. The third time I rang I was screaming down the phone saying, ‘He’s gone now, it’s too late.’ Apparently, when the paramedics finally arrived, they said they’d only just got the call.

“I think cuts to the NHS are disgusting. I honestly cannot fault the paramedics. My complaint is about the time it took the ambulance to arrive.

“If the ambulance had come earlier Martin could still be alive. I just don’t want something like this to happen to another family.”        

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