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999 delay caused patient death

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

After cancer patient Ben Horne was found collapsed in a hotel room on Boxing Day, his friends believed that he would have survived if paramedics had arrived sooner. Sandi Logan and Richard Hunt phoned for an ambulance on Thursday after discovering their friend collapsed in a hotel room in Southsea – they waited for almost half an hour for paramedics to arrive, by which point Mr Horne was dead.

South Central Ambulance had initially categorised the phone call as ‘amber’, meaning that the accident was not life threatening and had a target response time of 20 minutes. When Mr Horne stopped breathing, his friends phoned for a second time, at which point they upgraded the call to red. A rapid response car arrived a minute after the second phone call but it was too late as Mr Horne died 22 minutes after the first phone call.

‘upset, annoyed and angry’

Mr Horne had been receiving treatment for colon cancer at the time of his collapse, but the cause of his death has not yet been confirmed. Ms Logan attempted to resuscitate Mr Horne and said that she was “upset, annoyed and angry” when paramedics finally arrived.

A South Central Ambulance spokesman said: “We would like to send our sincere condolences to the patient’s family and friends and sincerely apologise for the delay and distress caused.

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