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999 trust says ‘sorry’ to Burnley patient
4:00pm Tuesday 31st July 2012 in Health
A MAN left waiting an hour for an ambulance after suffering from chest pains has had an apology from ambulance bosses.
The North West Ambulance Service launched an investigation after 39-year-old Damien Andrews, of Cronkshaw Avenue, Burnley, who has previously had two heart attacks, was left waiting after dialling 999.
Mr Andrews started to feel the pains on Tuesday, May 22, and rang an ambulance from near Burnley Bus Station at 9.08 pm.
Now NWAS have written to Mr Andrews and admitted that they mis-categorised his call.
Instead of the more serious ‘Red 2’ category, which required 75 per cent of calls to be responded to in eight minutes, it was categorised as the less serious Green 2.
In a letter Fiona Buckley, head of risk and safety at NWAS, said: “It was with regret that an audit has identified that this call was handled incorrectly.
“Due to an error made by the call taker, the call was incorrectly categorised as Green 2 as opposed to Red 2. I would like to offer my sincere apologies for this error which resulted in the crew arriving on scene at 22.06.
“Please be assured this matter has since been addressed with the relevant individual by the Emergency Control Centre training department, ensuring that learning takes place following your complaint to the trust.”
Mr Andrews has previously had heart attacks in March 2010 and January 2012.
He said: “I am considering taking legal action now. It doesn’t matter that they have said sorry. The damage has been done.
“It could have been a lot worse; I thought I was going to have a heart attack and there was nobody there.”
A second investigation concerning Mr Andrews was also launched, after he waited from 8pm until 2am on Sunday, May 27 for an ambulance to transfer him from Burnley General Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre to Royal Blackburn Hospital .
The Trust said it was ‘very sorry’ for the delay, which was caused by a ‘high volume of emergency calls’.
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