The administration of the ambulance service has apologized to the family of a man who died from a heart attack when no ambulance arrived.
Martin Clark, 68, began experiencing chest problems at his house in East Sussex on November 18 – before any NHS strike action began.
After calling for an ambulance three times and waiting 45 minutes, his family transported him to the hospital in their car.
The father of five went into cardiac arrest upon arrival and died despite receiving medical care.
Ann, his wife, reported that while waiting for an ambulance, he wailed in anguish and at one point penned a letter “I don’t believe I will survive. Love you.”
She said it was terrible and added: “He was severely let down. They ought to have arrived.”
The case has come to light as a result of NHS England’s publication of statistics indicating a severe worsening in NHS waiting times due to record demand.
They manifest in December:
The average response time to emergency calls such as heart attacks is greater than 90 minutes, which is five times longer than the desired response time.
Response times for calls of the highest priority, such as cardiac arrests, are close to 11 minutes, which is four minutes longer than they should be.
Over a third of A&E, patients wait more than four hours.
One in seven patients requiring admission waits more than 12 hours for a bed in a ward.
However, some progress has been made, with the waiting list for standard treatment dropping marginally to 7.19 million
Louise Ansari, national head of the Healthwatch England patient group, stated that current NHS pressures are untenable, with people paying the price.
Downing Street stated that the waiting time estimates will “properly cause anxiety” among the public.
The prime minister’s spokesman noted that ambulance wait times were “obviously unacceptable” and that addressing the problems was a top priority for the government.
we couldn’t obtain an ambulance
Ms. Clark stated that she often wonders what would have transpired if an ambulance had arrived promptly.
Her husband had high blood pressure but was physically fit.
“He didn’t drink or smoke. He was a daily walker. That day, he was out cutting the hedge with a chainsaw “She stated,
“The NHS is defective. Everyone is worried about where they can turn if they become unwell. There will be so many fatalities as a result of this; something must be done. It is dreadful.”
According to the South East Ambulance Service: “We regret that we were unable to respond to Mr. Clark promptly. We are concerned for his family and will investigate this matter.
We are working hard to respond as fast as possible to everyone who needs us. Even though our services remain under considerable strain.
The Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch, which examines accidents inside the NHS, has already issued a warning about the danger posed by ambulance delays to patients.
Long delays at accident and emergency units are one of the most significant challenges.
The transfer of patients should take no longer than 15 minutes, yet in November, one-third of patient transfers exceeded 30 minutes.
By the end of December, this figure had increased to above 40%.
According to the unions, patient safety is one of the primary reasons ambulance employees are on strike. Crews in England and Wales staged their second strike of the winter on Wednesday.
Extreme delays cannot become the new standard.
Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) described the Clarks’ situation as “very distressing.”
“The difference between life and death during a heart attack or stroke can be a matter of minutes,” she said.
“Extreme delays in emergency care for heart attacks and strokes cannot become the norm.
“The healthcare staff is doing everything they can, but there are not enough of them. And many of them will be working in challenging settings without enough facilities.
“There are no simple solutions, but there is a path out of this crisis if the NHS receives the necessary funding to solve the enormous backlog in heart care.
“It is also crucial that we get prevention back on track to avoid heart attacks and strokes from occurring.”
The Department of Health and Social Care stated it was unable to comment on particular cases. But acknowledged the strains the NHS was under as a result of the pandemic. And was “working relentlessly” to ensure patients received the necessary care.
This included an additional £750 million being committed this winter to free up hospital beds. And alleviate part of the emergency-care system’s backlog.