Non-public interest report issued: complaint not upheld
Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
Mr D complained that following his father, Mr F, having developed signs of a stroke, requiring an urgent 999 call, the Trust took over 3 hours to dispatch an ambulance to him. Mr D was specifically concerned that given the time-critical need for treatment following a suspected stroke, his father’s call should have been afforded Red status as opposed to the Amber 1 status that was assigned1. Mr D also considered that as a result of the delay in arrival at hospital, an opportunity was missed to administer thrombolysis (medication that functions to dissolve a blood clot) and therefore his father’s chances of survival was compromised.
The Ombudsman’s investigation was informed by advice from a highly experienced a Paramedic/Operational Senior Training Manager for Emergency Control Centres (“the Adviser”). Having reviewed all relevant evidence relating to the incident the Adviser was of the opinion that the Amber 1 status of the call was correct and that it would not have been appropriate to escalate the status of the call to Red status. The Adviser also found, having reviewed vehicle availability logs, that were no missed opportunities to have deployed a resource sooner than it did.
Having considered the Adviser’s comments, the Ombudsman concluded that Mr F’s arrival at hospital outside the optimal timeframe for him to receive thrombolysis, could not be attributed to any avoidable failing of service on the part of the Trust, and accordingly it would not have been appropriate to review the impact of any delay in Mr F arriving at hospital. Accordingly, the Ombudsman did not uphold the complaint.