No apology for fatal ambulance delay

FOR nearly two years Diane Halley-Frame has fought to find out why it took an ambulance more than half-an-hour to reach her dying son. But today, the 49-year-old's determined pursuit has come to an end after she claimed the authorities had repeatedly failed to provide her with the apology she so desperately wants.

FOR nearly two years Diane Halley-Frame has fought to find out why it took an ambulance more than half-an-hour to reach her dying son.

But today, the 49-year-old's determined pursuit has come to an end after she claimed the authorities had repeatedly failed to provide her with the apology she so desperately wants.

Mr Halley-Frame died in the early hours of August 27, 2005 after he suffered an asthma attack and collapsed in Ipswich's Upper Orwell Street.

The East of England Ambulance Service reported that because of exceptionally high demand in the area, a crew from Bury St Edmunds had to be dispatched, taking 31 minutes to reach the 25-year-old.


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Since her son's death, Ms Halley-Frame, of King's Way, has crusaded for changes to the NHS and for better funding to ensure another family is not subjected to the same torment.

However, she said a recently published Healthcare Commission review into the tragedy and the ambulance service's subsequent response had failed to properly answer her questions.

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“We have got to the point where we are banging our heads against a brick wall,” she said.

“We have been fighting this for so long now that we are totally confused. All along I just wanted them to admit they had cocked up.

“If we took it a stage further I don't think I would end up with any more information because it's the same stuff regurgitated time after time.

“We have not enjoyed this, we just wanted some straightforward answers.

“I would like to think changes will happen but I think it's a case of waiting until the next time. Someone else will then be fighting the same case.”

Mr Halley-Frame's aunt, Janice Plumb, of Severn Road, added: “If they did admit liability in any way it would leave them wide open to being sued, but that's never been our intention.

“Our aim has always been to get answers and to make changes to their procedures to stop this ever happening again.”

Ms Halley-Frame has not felt able to return to her job as a healthcare worker at St Clement's Hospital since the death of former Holywells High School pupil David.

She said: “I don't want to give my time to the NHS anymore.

“I'm not willing to hand in my notice and walk away with nothing after 22 years, which means I'm living on £150 a fortnight in benefits.

“I have got my daughter and two granddaughters. All the family have been supportive and without them, I don't think I would have got where I am now.”

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “We have been through every possible angle regarding our response to this tragic incident and feel that we have given as detailed a response to the Halley-Frames as we can.

“We would once again like to express our sincere regrets that we were not able to get medical help to David sooner than we did because of the extreme set of circumstances which occurred that night in terms of the sheer weight of 999 calls.”

DAVID Halley-Frame died after he collapsed after a night out with his best friend Jermaine Robinson.

An inquest revealed that he died from acute bronchial asthma but Greater Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean found that there was a chance he could have been saved had an ambulance reached him sooner.

It was just before 3am when the 25-year-old suffered the attack near the Kings Kebab shop in Upper Orwell Street.

He asked his friends to call for an ambulance and the first call was made at 2.53am. Over the next 30 minutes several desperate 999 calls were made.

An ambulance finally arrived at 3.24am after being sent from Bury St Edmunds because all crews in Ipswich were attending other jobs at the time.

Government targets require the ambulance trust to reach 75 per cent of potentially life threatening calls within eight minutes.

After the inquest, the ambulance trust described the circumstances surrounding his death as “extremely regrettable” but said it had faced an “exceptionally rare” busy period at the time Mr Halley-Frame needed help.

What do you think of the Diane Halley-Frame's fight? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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