Inquiry over baby’s death after two-hour wait for ambulance

Free Press Series: Inquiry over baby’s death after two-hour wait for ambulance Inquiry over baby’s death after two-hour wait for ambulance

A JOINT investigation has been launched into how a woman’s baby died after waiting two hours for an ambulance.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board and the Welsh ambulance service confirmed yesterday it was looking into the incident which a Gwent AM has described as "sickening".

Jocelyn Davies, Plaid AM for South Wales East, said women will not be prepared to have babies in birth centres run by midwives if they don’t have confidence in the ambulance service.

The Argus reported yesterday how Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths called for an inquiry after Ms Davies raised the Caerphilly woman’s case in the Senedd.

Ms Davies said the woman had been due to have a normal birth at the midwiferyled birth service at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, Ystrad Mynach last week, but a decision was made for her to have an emergency caesarean section.

She needed to go to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, but it was two hours before an ambulance came to take her. An attempt at a forceps delivery was made at the Royal Gwent, but the baby died.

Ms Davies, whose daughter Louise was stillborn in 1988, said she wanted an assurance there would be a full and proper inquiry so the family could get answers.

She added: “Women will not be prepared to have deliveries in midwife-led centres unless they have confidence that ambulances will be available in good time to take them to another centre should they need another intervention.

“When the member of the family first contacted me, I was shocked.

“When I was sent further details of what had happened, I was absolutely sickened for this young family.”

A joint statement from Aneurin Bevan Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust said: “Our thoughts are with the mother and her family at this extremely difficult time.

“A joint investigation is under way with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust and it will be inappropriate to comment further until this has been completed.

We will continue to meet with the family and provide any support they require.” ‘Lots of reviews, but no improvement’ THE Welsh health minister has also called for a comprehensive review into the ambulance service after a row over its budget.

But the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams, said Lesley Griffiths was hiding behind another review – the ninth in six years, she said.

Lesley Griffiths said the review would look at the relationships with Wales’ health boards, the service’s performance, targets and whether the current arrangements could be changed.

But Ms Williams said: “Over the last decade, we’ve seen countless reviews into the ambulance service and the Labour government still can’t guarantee that an ambulance will get to you within eight minutes 65 per cent of the time.”

Reports said that a 2012/13 budget for the service had not been agreed until November 2, despite a deadline in the summer.

Comments (12)

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11:52am Fri 9 Nov 12

Aquarius says...

As usual, out come the opportunist politicians who spot the chance to use the Ambulance Service as a pawn in the political game.

As I recall, in my time Kirstie Williams did spend part of a shift with an ambulance crew in Powys, several years ago. I don't think anyone has seen her since. Let's hear from Kirstie what HER party would do for the ambulance service (given the lack of money in the current climate). Or what would the Tories or Plaid do?

They're ALL talk. All 'reviews' ever do is buy time for the ruling political party as they keep running away from the problem.

Actually: two problems. Underfunding and poor management.

Bad though Welsh Labour's handling of this has been, it's within the power of EVERYONE in the Senedd to do something about it. But all they ever do is receive complaints from the public, copy them to the Ambulance Service to investigate, receive a report back from the Ambulance Service and then copy that response back to the person who complained in the first place.

And that's how they deal with all matters raised by constituents, whether it's the Ambulance Service or the refuse collection.

Try listening to Ambulance staff on the road and in the control rooms and less to the managers who spend most of their time trying to shovel blame down through the command chain (ie away from Trust HQ in North Wales....)
As usual, out come the opportunist politicians who spot the chance to use the Ambulance Service as a pawn in the political game. As I recall, in my time Kirstie Williams did spend part of a shift with an ambulance crew in Powys, several years ago. I don't think anyone has seen her since. Let's hear from Kirstie what HER party would do for the ambulance service (given the lack of money in the current climate). Or what would the Tories or Plaid do? They're ALL talk. All 'reviews' ever do is buy time for the ruling political party as they keep running away from the problem. Actually: two problems. Underfunding and poor management. Bad though Welsh Labour's handling of this has been, it's within the power of EVERYONE in the Senedd to do something about it. But all they ever do is receive complaints from the public, copy them to the Ambulance Service to investigate, receive a report back from the Ambulance Service and then copy that response back to the person who complained in the first place. And that's how they deal with all matters raised by constituents, whether it's the Ambulance Service or the refuse collection. Try listening to Ambulance staff on the road and in the control rooms and less to the managers who spend most of their time trying to shovel blame down through the command chain (ie away from Trust HQ in North Wales....) Aquarius

1:05pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Bobevans says...

Something is very seriously wrong. Whether it is the ambulance service or the Royal Gwent is unclear but there have been endless reports of the Royal Gwent refusing to accept patients so ambulance are queued up there. This seems to be so that they can meet their waiting time targets rather than anything else.

Why there should have been a 2 hour wait even allowing for this is unexplainable. It would have been a verified call and it would have been the highest priority.

It tends to indicate to me that there are serious failings in both the ambulance service and with the Royal Gwent.

Why do they not do as the Fire service does who back fills from other areas in times of high demand?

Why cannot they have staff on Call Out who they can call in in times of heavy demand?

The most worrying thing is this has gone on for several years with different ministers all saying it is being worked on but they never solve it.

Why could they not use a non 999 ambulance? The main requirement was to get the patient to the Royal Gwent as quickly as possible.

Why do we not introduce penalties for people that misuse the 999 ambulance service. That would discourage needless call outs.
Something is very seriously wrong. Whether it is the ambulance service or the Royal Gwent is unclear but there have been endless reports of the Royal Gwent refusing to accept patients so ambulance are queued up there. This seems to be so that they can meet their waiting time targets rather than anything else. Why there should have been a 2 hour wait even allowing for this is unexplainable. It would have been a verified call and it would have been the highest priority. It tends to indicate to me that there are serious failings in both the ambulance service and with the Royal Gwent. Why do they not do as the Fire service does who back fills from other areas in times of high demand? Why cannot they have staff on Call Out who they can call in in times of heavy demand? The most worrying thing is this has gone on for several years with different ministers all saying it is being worked on but they never solve it. Why could they not use a non 999 ambulance? The main requirement was to get the patient to the Royal Gwent as quickly as possible. Why do we not introduce penalties for people that misuse the 999 ambulance service. That would discourage needless call outs. Bobevans

2:35pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Aquarius says...

For one thing, there has been no confirmation yet that the call WAS graded as "highest priority". It could have been a request to collect the patient within a certain time limit.

This patient, at the end of the day, WAS in a hospital and WAS in the care of midwives. Can it honestly be justifiable sending an ambulance as the first priority to a patient ALREADY in a treatment centre with qualified staff ALREADY on hand, instead of (for example) giving priority to someone having a heart attack at home, with NO medical assistance nearby?

When you've a lack of resources, that's the sort of determination that has to be made.

Yes, perhaps better facilities were required at RGH to cope with this particular complication. But perhaps that points more to a wider issue with maternity units are smaller hospitals?

There has been no evidence so far that the 'delay' in ambulance transport had any actual bearing on this tragedy whatsoever.

There ARE signs, however, of hospital staff perhaps trying to cover their backs and deflect attention if (as seems apparent) the 'blame game' starts....
For one thing, there has been no confirmation yet that the call WAS graded as "highest priority". It could have been a request to collect the patient within a certain time limit. This patient, at the end of the day, WAS in a hospital and WAS in the care of midwives. Can it honestly be justifiable sending an ambulance as the first priority to a patient ALREADY in a treatment centre with qualified staff ALREADY on hand, instead of (for example) giving priority to someone having a heart attack at home, with NO medical assistance nearby? When you've a lack of resources, that's the sort of determination that has to be made. Yes, perhaps better facilities were required at RGH to cope with this particular complication. But perhaps that points more to a wider issue with maternity units are smaller hospitals? There has been no evidence so far that the 'delay' in ambulance transport had any actual bearing on this tragedy whatsoever. There ARE signs, however, of hospital staff perhaps trying to cover their backs and deflect attention if (as seems apparent) the 'blame game' starts.... Aquarius

3:25pm Fri 9 Nov 12

spanner100 says...

Just how much longer is the Welsh Ambulance saga to continue?. This has been going on for light years. I well remember several years ago that the excuse was the state of Ambulances, the result was a massive purchase of Mercedes Ambulances,the result NO CHANGE", and thats how it has been for years. My Wife and I are into our Seventies and really dread having to phone 999 for an Ambulance in the hope that one MAY turn up!!. I have NO complaint with Ambulance Crews as they can only operate within the constraints laid down by their "useless Masters". We can only live in hope!.
Just how much longer is the Welsh Ambulance saga to continue?. This has been going on for light years. I well remember several years ago that the excuse was the state of Ambulances, the result was a massive purchase of Mercedes Ambulances,the result NO CHANGE", and thats how it has been for years. My Wife and I are into our Seventies and really dread having to phone 999 for an Ambulance in the hope that one MAY turn up!!. I have NO complaint with Ambulance Crews as they can only operate within the constraints laid down by their "useless Masters". We can only live in hope!. spanner100

4:42pm Fri 9 Nov 12

ABCDE123 says...

@Bobevans do you really think that patients are refused from the RGH to 'meet targets'? It is my impression that patients cannot be refused without a Dr or Nurse assessing them first...

Rather the issue has always been that ambulance crews are queued up whilst waiting for capacity in the A&E and I am sure that these patients are still counted in the figures.

I
@Bobevans do you really think that patients are refused from the RGH to 'meet targets'? It is my impression that patients cannot be refused without a Dr or Nurse assessing them first... Rather the issue has always been that ambulance crews are queued up whilst waiting for capacity in the A&E and I am sure that these patients are still counted in the figures. I ABCDE123

4:48pm Fri 9 Nov 12

signal box says...

The investigation saga continues when are the political masters going to sort out the problems with the Welsh Ambulance Services they have appointed six CEO's since the Welsh Ambulance Service was formed why have these political appointments failed
to produce the results. I would suggest that Senior Officers who cared about the service and the public have retired or been replaced by Managers who are only interested in themselves. Come on political masters lets see you do somthing and sort out the service once and for all.
The investigation saga continues when are the political masters going to sort out the problems with the Welsh Ambulance Services they have appointed six CEO's since the Welsh Ambulance Service was formed why have these political appointments failed to produce the results. I would suggest that Senior Officers who cared about the service and the public have retired or been replaced by Managers who are only interested in themselves. Come on political masters lets see you do somthing and sort out the service once and for all. signal box

4:59pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Bobevans says...

ABCDE123 wrote:
@Bobevans do you really think that patients are refused from the RGH to 'meet targets'? It is my impression that patients cannot be refused without a Dr or Nurse assessing them first...

Rather the issue has always been that ambulance crews are queued up whilst waiting for capacity in the A&E and I am sure that these patients are still counted in the figures.

I
It is documented that the Royal Gwent has refused to accept patient conveyed by ambulance.THat is not in disbute. It is a fact.
[quote][p][bold]ABCDE123[/bold] wrote: @Bobevans do you really think that patients are refused from the RGH to 'meet targets'? It is my impression that patients cannot be refused without a Dr or Nurse assessing them first... Rather the issue has always been that ambulance crews are queued up whilst waiting for capacity in the A&E and I am sure that these patients are still counted in the figures. I[/p][/quote]It is documented that the Royal Gwent has refused to accept patient conveyed by ambulance.THat is not in disbute. It is a fact. Bobevans

5:00pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Bobevans says...

ABCDE123 wrote:
@Bobevans do you really think that patients are refused from the RGH to 'meet targets'? It is my impression that patients cannot be refused without a Dr or Nurse assessing them first...

Rather the issue has always been that ambulance crews are queued up whilst waiting for capacity in the A&E and I am sure that these patients are still counted in the figures.

I
It is documented that the Royal Gwent has refused to accept patient conveyed by ambulance.THat is not in disbute. It is a fact.
[quote][p][bold]ABCDE123[/bold] wrote: @Bobevans do you really think that patients are refused from the RGH to 'meet targets'? It is my impression that patients cannot be refused without a Dr or Nurse assessing them first... Rather the issue has always been that ambulance crews are queued up whilst waiting for capacity in the A&E and I am sure that these patients are still counted in the figures. I[/p][/quote]It is documented that the Royal Gwent has refused to accept patient conveyed by ambulance.THat is not in disbute. It is a fact. Bobevans

5:04pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Bobevans says...

Aquarius wrote:
For one thing, there has been no confirmation yet that the call WAS graded as "highest priority". It could have been a request to collect the patient within a certain time limit.

This patient, at the end of the day, WAS in a hospital and WAS in the care of midwives. Can it honestly be justifiable sending an ambulance as the first priority to a patient ALREADY in a treatment centre with qualified staff ALREADY on hand, instead of (for example) giving priority to someone having a heart attack at home, with NO medical assistance nearby?

When you've a lack of resources, that's the sort of determination that has to be made.

Yes, perhaps better facilities were required at RGH to cope with this particular complication. But perhaps that points more to a wider issue with maternity units are smaller hospitals?

There has been no evidence so far that the 'delay' in ambulance transport had any actual bearing on this tragedy whatsoever.

There ARE signs, however, of hospital staff perhaps trying to cover their backs and deflect attention if (as seems apparent) the 'blame game' starts....
The patient according to the report needed an emergency caesarean section. That means they need to get the patient into the operating theatre ASAP as the life of the patient and unborn child is at risk. THere is not may things that would have a higher priority.

The midwifes had done all they could. They are not surgeons.
[quote][p][bold]Aquarius[/bold] wrote: For one thing, there has been no confirmation yet that the call WAS graded as "highest priority". It could have been a request to collect the patient within a certain time limit. This patient, at the end of the day, WAS in a hospital and WAS in the care of midwives. Can it honestly be justifiable sending an ambulance as the first priority to a patient ALREADY in a treatment centre with qualified staff ALREADY on hand, instead of (for example) giving priority to someone having a heart attack at home, with NO medical assistance nearby? When you've a lack of resources, that's the sort of determination that has to be made. Yes, perhaps better facilities were required at RGH to cope with this particular complication. But perhaps that points more to a wider issue with maternity units are smaller hospitals? There has been no evidence so far that the 'delay' in ambulance transport had any actual bearing on this tragedy whatsoever. There ARE signs, however, of hospital staff perhaps trying to cover their backs and deflect attention if (as seems apparent) the 'blame game' starts....[/p][/quote]The patient according to the report needed an emergency caesarean section. That means they need to get the patient into the operating theatre ASAP as the life of the patient and unborn child is at risk. THere is not may things that would have a higher priority. The midwifes had done all they could. They are not surgeons. Bobevans

6:01pm Sun 11 Nov 12

Aquarius says...

Bobevans:

I should have thought it obvious from most posts that you write these days - especially with regards to the NHS and the Ambulance Service - that you have little idea what you are talking about, as usual.

Get back to watching Casualty and Holby City eh?
Bobevans: I should have thought it obvious from most posts that you write these days - especially with regards to the NHS and the Ambulance Service - that you have little idea what you are talking about, as usual. Get back to watching Casualty and Holby City eh? Aquarius

9:28pm Sun 11 Nov 12

Dixie Smith says...

The midwife let service is just that staffed by midwives. Why is a midwifery service based at a hospital that is unable to carry out emergency caesarean on site?

An emergency caesarean is just that an emergency not a 'two hour wait for an ambulance emergency caesarean'!

Would you really trust your wife, mother, daughter etc into the care of a facility that is unable to get transport to a hospital with an operating when your loved one and her unborn is likely to lose their lives. I know I wouldn't.

My heart goes out to the lady and her family.

ABHB hang your heads in shame - you don't deserve to look the lady involved in the eyes to apologise. I'm sure you'll come out with the usual 'lessons learned' phrase though.
The midwife let service is just that staffed by midwives. Why is a midwifery service based at a hospital that is unable to carry out emergency caesarean on site? An emergency caesarean is just that an emergency not a 'two hour wait for an ambulance emergency caesarean'! Would you really trust your wife, mother, daughter etc into the care of a facility that is unable to get transport to a hospital with an operating when your loved one and her unborn is likely to lose their lives. I know I wouldn't. My heart goes out to the lady and her family. ABHB hang your heads in shame - you don't deserve to look the lady involved in the eyes to apologise. I'm sure you'll come out with the usual 'lessons learned' phrase though. Dixie Smith

9:00am Mon 12 Nov 12

signal box says...

I must support Aquarius that Holby City Casuality and Londons Burning are programs to entertain and do not reflect the real Fire and Ambulance Services.Crew shortages vehicle defects all reduce the availablity of operational Ambulances. Bobevans asked why don't the Ambulance Service "back fill" like the Fire Service his crude description of mobilising is carried out by a computer program called system status management, what a joke because if the Ambulance Control Staff fail to comply with the computer they are subjected to investigation and discipine. The same staff made the mobilising move before WAST purchased the product at what cost.
I must support Aquarius that Holby City Casuality and Londons Burning are programs to entertain and do not reflect the real Fire and Ambulance Services.Crew shortages vehicle defects all reduce the availablity of operational Ambulances. Bobevans asked why don't the Ambulance Service "back fill" like the Fire Service his crude description of mobilising is carried out by a computer program called system status management, what a joke because if the Ambulance Control Staff fail to comply with the computer they are subjected to investigation and discipine. The same staff made the mobilising move before WAST purchased the product at what cost. signal box

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