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COMMENT: Answers still needed over long wait for an ambulance
9:00am Friday 13th December 2013 in News
FOR 99 per cent of us the ambulance service – like the police and fire service – are guardian angels, swooping in to help us in times of need.
And they do so under tremendous moments of stress.
We employ in our emergency services human beings, not robots. And at times they will get things wrong.
There is credit for South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) for its admission that events went terribly wrong following the call by the family of Clive Gould after he developed breathing problems.
The seriousness of the condition was not recognised and an ambulance did not arrive for 90 minutes. Mr Gould died despite attempts then to save him.
Ninety minutes is an exceptionally long time to wait after calling 999. The question has to be, no matter the misunderstanding over the seriousness, why SCAS was not able to get an ambulance to Mr Gould quicker than in 90 minutes at 4am.
Mr Gould lived in West Oxfordshire, an area where there have long been concerns about ambulance response times. Earlier this year David Cameron raised his worries about ambulances getting to those in rural areas in time.
We hope SCAS will be able to further enlighten us over this key issue.
If it did not have enough ambulances at 4am to react to a dying man then it needs to admit this.
It is only through that knowledge that we can all press authorities to ensure there is not another case like Clive Gould.
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