Mr Lane, from Selston in Nottingham had been out with his wife on the 2 September 2018 when he became ill. His wife, called for an ambulance noting that he had been sick and his face was droopy. Mrs Lane became distressed and handed her phone over to a passerby who relayed to her that an ambulance would aim to be with them within the next 60 minutes. Mr Lane’s case had been categorised as a ‘Category 2’ call as he had regained consciousness during the phone call.

Given Mr Lane’s condition, Mrs Lane decided to make her own way to King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-In -Ashfield which was eight miles away. Her husband was screaming in pain and this was extremely distressing for Mrs Lane, who went on to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of seeing her husband in agony. On arrival at the hospital, a CT scan revealed that Mr Lane had suffered a bleed on the brain. He was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where he suffered a second bleed on the brain in the early hours of the 3 September. His life support machine was turned off later that day.

According to national standards, an ambulance should take an average of 18 minutes to arrive for category 2 calls. However, according to statistics released by NHS England, the average ambulance response times between April and December 2018 for a category 2 call was just over 31 minutes. This highlights the continuing strain on ambulance crews, which in turn raises considerable concerns about the effectiveness of the service.

East Midlands Ambulance Service are now carrying out a trial in which individuals who have suffered strokes are treated as a higher priority. The Ambulance Service state that this trial is unrelated to Mr Lane’s death. Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction to ensure that ambulances are dispatched to those in urgent need of assistance within a reasonable timeframe.

Freeths solicitors have considerable experience with clinical negligence claims including negligent treatment provided by primary care healthcare professionals. If you are concerned about care which you or a loved one have received, please contact a member of our national team for a free, informal discussion;

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) 0186 578 1019

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham) on 0845 274 6830

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester/Nottingham) on 0845 272 5724

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