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Pensioner had five-hour ambulance wait

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A pensioner from Nottingham had to wait five hours for an ambulance after the phone call was logged incorrectly.  Stewart Maltby’s GP had been visiting Mr Matlby at his home in Farnsfield having recently suffered a stroke and abdominal surgery.  Finding that he was severely dehydrated, GP John Porter requested an ambulance to be sent within 2 hours, which arrived 5 hours later.  Stewart Maltby died of kidney failure and other problems two days later.

An inquest at Nottingham town hall heard that the individual who answered the call had logged the phone call incorrectly.  It was also heard that Mr Maltby was not given any fluids for 14 hours after the call was made.  The ambulance service said that major improvements had been made to the handling of phone calls following the incident. Mr Maltby’s family solicitor carried out a cross examination of the call-handling system, and found that a dedicated dispatch team for urgent call-outs from GPs is now in place.  Ambulances are getting to patients faster as a result of this improvement.

Failure to follow-up

The inquest heard that it had been difficult to trace Mr Maltby’s time at the Queens Medical Centre (QMC) as there were multiple gaps in the medical notes.  The nurse in charge of the ward said that they had been run-off their feet and had struggled to carry out enough follow-up checks.  As a result of Mr Maltby’s case, handovers in the QMC are now verbal as opposed to written.

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