Friday, 22 August 2008

Nurse, 36, suffering brain haemorrhage had to wait 2 hours for ambulance before she died

The grieving husband of a nurse who died from a brain haemorrhage after waiting more than two hours for an ambulance accused an NHS Trust of brushing the incident "under the carpet".

Martina Simmons, 36, collapsed at her home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, after she suffered powerful headaches, heavy vomiting, and passing out.

A first responder paramedic arrived at her home within three minutes of the initial call, but it took another two hours for Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) to dispatch an ambulance to take her to hospital.

When the ambulance arrived, Mrs Simmons could no longer breathe and when she arrived at Weston General Hospital at about 1.25am on June 7 surgeons were unable to get her to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol for life-saving surgery.

The nurse later died in the same hospital where she worked.

Mrs Simmons and her husband Shaun were due to go on their second honeymoon to Majorca two weeks ago to celebrate their third wedding anniversary. Instead, Mr Simmons held a funeral for his wife at Weston Crematorium.

The 39-year-old widower, a Navy reservist, has now made a formal complaint against the ambulance service.

He told the Western Daily Press: "I have still not had any explanation as to why it took so long and I have not been involved in any investigation. I'm very angry about it and I feel they have brushed it under the carpet. I do not blame the paramedics because they did a fantastic job.

"I blame the fact that they do not have the resources that they need. I was told on the night that there were only two ambulances covering Weston. That, on a Friday night in a busy resort town, is nowhere near enough. I'm not going to let this lie. I want something done, I'm disgusted by it. I want a lot more ambulances in Weston. I don't want this happening again to someone else."

The Healthcare Commission criticised GWAS for its response times and management of vehicles following the death of student Rebecca Wedd in Cirencester. She had to wait 42 minutes for an ambulance after she was hit by a car in May 2007.

article here