The family of a man who died at home has refused to accept an apology from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, saying they blame a poor response to their 999 call for his death.
Perwez Iqbal, 59, collapsed at home in Fairbank Road, Girlington, Bradford, in the early hours of Tuesday, April 5.
His wife called for an emergency ambulance at 3.43am and it should have arrived within eight minutes. However, it failed to turn up until 3.56am – 13 minutes after her call.
Mr Iqbal died at home at 4.23am.
During the 999 call, Mr Iqbal’s son Mussood Perwez can be heard desperately trying to resuscitate his father under the instruction of the ambulance call-taker.
Mussood Perwez said at the time the call hander was the most important person to them and raised concerns about the help that he had provided.
“He was under-trained and they have admitted that,” he said.
Mr Iqbal’s daughter Saimia Iqbal, of Gladstone Street, Bradford, said: “My dad did have a number of illnesses but he was a fighter. If the ambulance had arrived on time maybe dad would have got to the hospital and lived.”
The family refuse to accept an explanation that the delay was unavoidable and have questioned how many other call handlers could be under-trained.
In a letter to the family, ambulance bosses admit the call handler did not handle the call in a “supportive way”. It says he has been provided with additional training.
A spokesman for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “We would like to apologise to the family of Mr Iqbal for the distress caused and again pass on our sincere condolences for the recent loss of their father. We have met with the family to discuss the matter and actions have been taken to address the concerns they have raised.”
The spokesman said that between January and the end of May 2011 it received 278,266 emergency calls, with five complaints about the attitude of call handlers, and added: “Staff working in our 999 communications centres carry out a vital role and help to save lives every day.
“They are trained to deliver advice and instructions so that immediate care can be provided to the patient until the ambulance crew arrives.
“More importantly, they provide vital reassurance to callers and patients in what can be extremely daunting and stressful situations.
“We would like to reassure members of the public that patient care is our utmost priority and we aim to provide a responsive, high-quality ambulance service.”
The spokesman said YAS was currently exceeding the national target for responding to patients with potentially life-threatening illnesses and injuries within eight minutes.
In the Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees area the service is currently reaching 77.11 per cent of patients with potentially life-threatening illnesses and injuries within eight minutes. The nationally-set target is to reach 75 per cent of Category A incidents within eight minutes.
- Read the full story Monday’s T&A