Staff speak out about asthma death

AMBULANCE officers today spoke out on their feelings over the tragic death of asthmatic David Halley-Frame and the delay in getting medical help to him.

AMBULANCE officers today spoke out on their feelings over the tragic death of asthmatic David Halley-Frame and the delay in getting medical help to him.

The staff at Ipswich Ambulance Station have told how even staff who were not on duty on the night the healthcare assistant from King's Way in Ipswich died have been affected by the delay in getting an ambulance to him.

They have also spoken about their repeated efforts in working unplanned overtime to ensure the town has adequate ambulance cover.

And in a worrying development for the trust, they have also revealed that officers have faced abuse in the days following Mr Halley-Frame's death.


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In an email to The Evening Star, ten members of staff at the station wrote: “It was an absolute tragedy that Mr Halley-Frame died and all the staff here send their sympathy to his family and friends.”

The staff contacted the Star after it emerged that when Mr Halley-Frame suffered what is thought to have been a massive asthma attack in Ipswich's Upper Orwell Street in the early hours of Saturday there should have been an extra ambulance on duty responding to emergency calls.

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As that ambulance sat unused because there were no staff available to man it, another vehicle had to be dispatched from Bury St Edmunds - 27 miles away - and did not reach Mr Halley-Frame until 28 minutes after the first 999 call.

The 25-year-old died in hospital a few hours later.

Today the ambulance staff responded to the trust's admission that it had not been able to man a full complement of ambulances. They wrote: “We would like to point out that ambulance staff (like all employees) are entitled to annual leave and all ambulance staff have the opportunity to accept or decline available overtime.

“The staff at Ipswich station are committed, dedicated and professional ambulance staff who work long and often arduous shifts to provide the surrounding community with emergency care.

“They frequently undertake unplanned overtime at the end of a 12 hour shift in order to deliver appropriate and timely care to patients, often returning home to their own families much later than the end of their scheduled shift.”

The staff, Dan Cooper, Colin Charlton, Mike Elsom, Lisa Gardiner, Kevin Gooden, Belinda Jackson, Pete Sago, Russell Starling, Emma Tavenor, Jemma Varela, also revealed that they have been subject to abuse from members of the public following Mr Halley-Frame's death.

They wrote: “At least one crew today has had abuse shouted at them as they responded to a 999 call in the town.”

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