Ambulance delay: Family satisfied

THE family of a man who died of a heart attack have met health chiefs to find out why it took so long for an ambulance to attend to him.

THE family of a man who died of a heart attack have met health chiefs to find out why it took so long for an ambulance to attend to him.

Alfred Clark, 76, from Pauline Close, Clacton, fell ill while driving in Felixstowe on September 28 and crashed his car.

He died in hospital later that morning but his daughter Sue Colman and her husband Ray were left upset by the length of time it took for the ambulance to turn up to the initial incident.

Yesterday, Robert Lawrence, the East of England Ambulance Service's Chief Suffolk Officer, met with the couple at their Dovercourt home to explain why it took 17 minutes for the first paramedic to arrive on the scene and a further 12 minutes for an ambulance to turn up.

Mr Lawrence said that the rapid response vehicle that made first contact with Mr Clark was the only one of 12 units on duty that was available in the east Suffolk area at the time of the call.

He said: “It was very important to establish the facts of the case and to meet with Mr and Mrs Coleman and inform the family of the circumstances around the road traffic accident in Felixstowe.

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“In this case, of the 12 vehicles, 11 were already engaged in category A or B emergency calls. We did send the nearest available resource and it's incredibly sad and unfortunate that at the time the call came in it was the only time that day when all the resources were busy apart from one.”

He said the service was funded to achieve a 75 per cent rate of arriving at life-threatening calls within eight minutes and that target had been reached in the past two months.

After the meeting Mr Coleman said he had “got to be satisfied” with the outcome as there was nothing more he could do.

He said: “I would take them to court but they have everything covered. I'm pleased they came out and spoke but it still doesn't bring him back.”