Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

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Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

Post by Digger on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 6:49 am



Mandy Mathieson died after suffering a blood clot

A furious family have told how their daughter was left to die after an ambulance driver refused to respond to a 999 call - because he was on his tea break.
Relief technician Owen McLauchlan 'chose' not to help Mandy Mathieson after she took ill just 'two minutes away' from his depot because he was on a 'rest break'.
Instead, her partner Bobby Taylor tried to resuscitate the 33-year-old while a helicopter was scrambled and an ambulance crew raced 15 miles from Grantown to Tomintoul.
The paramedics arrived 21 minutes later and Miss Mathieson was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim's devastated family today said the community had been left 'disgusted' by the incident and are demanding an inquiry.
On Monday, locals staged a protest outside the ambulance depot in Tomnabat Lane - just yards from the Miss Mathieson's home in Stewart Place.
Dufftown-based Owen McLauchlan, who is originally from Linlithgow, has since been suspended from his job with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Mandy's partner of six years, Bobby Taylor, had arrived home two weeks ago to find her in bed and not breathing.
The ambulance service received his frantic call at 12.45pm and asked Mr McLauchlan 23, to attend.
Part-time ambulance driver Shirley Keith was at home when Mr McLauchlan took the call from the control centre in Inverness.
She said: 'I heard the air ambulance going over the top of my house.
'I went running out of the house and I noticed an ambulance at Mandy's house at the bottom of the road.
'I came back in and phoned the station. I said 'Owen what's going on? There's an ambulance at the bottom of my road'.
'His exact words were 'Shirley, you're not going to like what I'm about to say. They shouted me on my break but I refused to go'.'
Mrs Keith, who has also lodged a complaint with the ambulance service, added: 'I was totally numb with disbelief, I just hung up the phone.
'We may not be able to make a difference to Mandy but we were only two minutes away from her and he's got all the equipment, including a defibrillator, in the back of the ambulance.
'When Mandy really needed help he let her down. That is so wrong.'
Miss Mathieson, an accounts technician for the Cairngorms National Park Authority, died after suffering a blood clot. Her uncle, Charlie Skene, 53, is making a complaint to health secretary to Nicola Sturgeon and the ambulance service to demand answers.
Mr Skene's late father, also Charlie, was the village's ambulance driver for many years and had campaigned for a dedicated vehicle.
Mr Skene said: 'My father fought for years for a full-time service for Tomintoul. 'Then when we need it we're let down like this.'
A Scottish Ambulance spokesman confirmed the incident. He said: 'On October 16 we received a 999 call for a cardiac emergency in Tomintoul at 12.45pm.
'The technician on duty in Tomintoul was on a rest break and chose not to respond.
'An ambulance crew was dispatched from Grantown-on-Spey and arrived on scene within 21 minutes, followed by an air ambulance helicopter eight minutes later.
'Unfortunately, the patient did not survive the cardiac arrest and our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.
'We have asked the Health Professions Council to consider the ambulance technician's decision-making and have suspended the individual while this consideration takes place.'

Just goes to show how lucky we are here.


"The best way to predict the future is to invent it".


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Re: Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

Post by kat on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 8:16 am

thankfully we here have a service to be proud of ..as this is a disgrace my heart goes out to her family
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Re: Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

Post by kingcolemk on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 9:39 am

If it can be shown that there would have been a chance of her being saved by a quicker response, then the madic in question should be charged with involantary manslaughter.

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Re: Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

Post by karma on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 9:59 am

When I read things like this I am so glad I am at the 'tail end' of my life!!!!
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Re: Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

Post by Dell on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 5:17 pm

kingcolemk wrote:If it can be shown that there would have been a chance of her being saved by a quicker response, then the madic in question should be charged with involantary manslaughter.

Quite agree.... he needs to be taken to task over this, but was probably within his Union "rights" to refuse to turn out as he is 'entitled' to his rest break!!



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Re: Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

Post by Mischas on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 10:51 pm

While I agree that this is a terrible thing to happen and an inquiry needs to be held, what would your reactions have been if the headline had been "medic supposed to be on restbreak crashes into car killing all occupants".

There are always two sides to every story. I know here in Australia there are strict rules about how many hours can be worked before you have a restbreak which the employer HAS to enforce or face hefty fines.

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Re: Woman died after ambulance driver refused 999 call while on tea break.

Post by kingcolemk on Thu 04 Nov 2010, 9:37 am

Highly unlikely on a two minute journey and it was only a tea break, not a rest break. In any case he should have made sure there was back-up available before skiving off for a cup of tea.

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