Latest News & Views

Posted on 25th August 2017

Two Patients Avoidably Die Each Month Due To Ambulance Staff Failings

In a review of coroner reports by Psychiatrist Dr Minh Alexander, it is found that almost two people die each month due to failings by ambulance staff or call handlers.

When a coroner looks into the cause of death of a person, they have to consider whether to report serious failings by healthcare professionals if they think that there is a risk of death to others. This is regulation number 28 of the Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013.

The report by Dr Alexander reviewed all regulation 28 reports and found that since July 2013, coroners have written to ambulance services or call handlers 86 times. Commonly slow handovers at A&E are a cause for concern by coroners. 48 warnings related to delays with ambulances or problems with call hander staff.

One such problem reported was when a 68 year old male had a burst varicose vein. He telephoned for an ambulance at 1:36 but bled to death because it did not arrive until 3:03.

Dr Alexander commented that the number of coroners reports suggested a “Significant decline in ambulance safety in recent years” and she added “Action is needed to rectify underfunding, related workforce and skill mix issues, and pressures on the whole NHS that spill on to ambulance services”


The ambulance service receive in excess of 10 million emergency calls each year and the majority or those attendances go without any problem.

Often the first people on the scene of an incident or medical emergency, we would assume that we are getting the best possible treatment but the report by Dr Alexander shows that this is not always the case.

A delay caused by ambulance staff or paramedics could have a devastating effect on the wellbeing of patients. If you or a loved one have required the services of an ambulance or paramedic but they did not attend for a long time causing further injury, you may have grounds to make a compensation claim for medical negligence.

For a free claim assessment telephone 0330 355 9210 or e-mail