A woman was left to die after an ambulance sent to treat her was called away only four minutes from her front door.
Ann Walters had initially called the NHS 111 service and after describing her symptoms had been told she was in need of emergency treatment, The Express reports. Instead of being rushed to hospital Mrs Walters, who had a hole in her heart, was found dead by her son Lawrence Thorpe.
The 61 year old was left alone expecting help to arrive but instead medical assistance, in the form of an out-of-hours GP, arrived twelve hours later by which time she had died from heart failure. An investigation into why the team sent to help Mrs Walters was diverted so close to her home, with no alternative team sent in its place, is now underway.
Mrs Walters called the 111 service at 0825hrs, according to her phone log which was checked by her son. He found his mother on the living room floor of her home in Portsmouth, Hants, at 1800rs and a GP eventually turned up at 2030hrs. South Central Ambulance Service, which runs the local NHS 111 and the 999 services, said it had launched two investigations into the incident, which occurred on December 28th last year.
The first investigation will focus on why the ambulance was sent back instead of rescuing Mrs Walters and the other on why it took so long for an out-of-hours GP to attend. Mr Thorpe believes that his mother could have been saved had the ambulance turned up to her house. The teacher said, “Knowing there was an ambulance minutes away from reaching my mum, I believed it could have saved her life.”
He added: “I’m infuriated that she called for help and that no help came.
“Instead I was left to find my mother dead and my sister was robbed of her chance to say goodbye.”
A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service commented that the original call “was answered and correctly assessed by the NHS 111 service and was very quickly and appropriately passed to the 999 service given the nature of the call and the information given by the caller.”
He added, “A full investigation is currently underway focusing on all aspects of our response to this patient.
“South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust takes our response to patients very seriously and we would like to apologise to the family for the distress caused as a result of this regrettable incident and would like to offer our sincere condolences.
‘We are in contact with the patient’s family so that we can fully address their concerns.
“SCAS follows all internal policies and procedures in the handling of such cases.
“As this investigation is still ongoing we are unable to comment further at this time.”
When asked for a comment on the story, a Labour Party spokesperson told Breitbart London “we’re not saying anything about that.”