Burnley family to continue fight against North West Ambulance Service

Emma Stewart, Kevin Stewart and Samantha Stewart with a picture of  mother Jacqueline Stewart

Emma Stewart, Kevin Stewart and Samantha Stewart with a picture of mother Jacqueline Stewart

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE family of a Burnley woman who collapsed and died in the street said they are to continue their fight against the North West Ambulance Service.

Jacqueline Stewart, 53, died in October last year despite a desperate battle by her family to save her outside her Briercliffe Road home. An inquest into her death heard that Mrs Stewart’s family still disputed ambulance response times by NWAS.

One of Mrs Stewart’s three children, Emma, said: “The family went through our phone records. I was on the phone to my husband at 6.09pm and the first ambulance had not arrived at that point.

“We know that the times they say are not right and we will continue to fight for the truth.”

Family and neighbours made six 999 calls between 5.44pm and 6.11pm on the evening of October 17.

Peter Ballan, a sector manager at NWAS, told the inquest that the first Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) was despatched at 5.48pm and arrived on the scene at 6pm.

He also said that an ambulance, which was the nearest at the time, had been sent to the scene at 5.49pm, and arrived at 6.11pm.

He told the inquest that these figures were recorded by a tracking system on the vehicles, and by paramedics pressing a button to record their arrival.

Emma said that the RRV did not arrive until between 6.10pm and 6.15pm, and that the ambulance wasn’t on the scene until 6.25pm. The ambulance left the scene at 6.34pm and arrived at Royal Blackburn Hospital at 6.50pm and paramedics continued to try CPR on Mrs Stewart, although the family believe she had died on the street in Burnley.

Emma, who is a nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital, said: “I know that she had died in Burnley.

“I knew as soon as I saw her on the floor that she had died.

“From reading a paramedics report I know she had died then because it said her pupils were fixed and dilated. But the paramedics continued to try CPR when taking her into the hospital instead of telling us the truth.”

The inquest heard that Mrs Stewart had called her husband Phil at 5.42pm and said ‘I’m dying, I’m dying’ over the phone.

Pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud said that Mrs Stewart had traces of food in her larynx and had slightly higher than prescribed meditcation, including an anti-depressant and tramadol, in her system. Those drugs had caused a slight depression in her respiratory system.

Coroner Richard Taylor said that Mrs Stewart, who also leaves behind two other children, Kevin and Samantha, had not deliberately taken too many prescribed drugs. He said the ambulance time was not relevant to the inquest as paramedics would not have been able to save her as she died within a short time after collapsing.

The coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:16pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Malthus says...

Sadly people die and I am sorry for the family's loss. However, does the family not realise that by making an issue of this they are tying up money and resources that may help other people in similar situations. I would have more sympathy if they spoke out about the time wasters who needlessly demand an ambulance response for minor illness or injury and also the so called "hoax callers" who for perverse reasons think it is fun to send an ambulance to a nonexistent emergency. There should also be an investigation in to those who use the service as a means of making cash by using them to facilitate their bogus and staged "whiplash" claims; this area is a notorious black spot for such frauds. Unfortunately, the ambulance service's response time will, in my opinion, get longer and longer as more cuts are made to the service and more people make demands on the service both legitimately and through abuse of the service.

I firmly believe that the vast majority of ambulance, nursing and medical personnel are trying to do their very best and also trying to fulfill their commitment to their vocation; I wish everyone else thought the same.

In conclusion I would like to state that obviously there are cases of negligence, these should be dealt with and the victims or their families should be compensated. In this case and given the time of day, (rush hour) there is a spike in demand for the ambulance service and there are limited resources available at a time when the roads are very busy; I know this because I used to work at the BT 999 call centre in Blackburn. Sadly the ambulance service can not save everyone.
Sadly people die and I am sorry for the family's loss. However, does the family not realise that by making an issue of this they are tying up money and resources that may help other people in similar situations. I would have more sympathy if they spoke out about the time wasters who needlessly demand an ambulance response for minor illness or injury and also the so called "hoax callers" who for perverse reasons think it is fun to send an ambulance to a nonexistent emergency. There should also be an investigation in to those who use the service as a means of making cash by using them to facilitate their bogus and staged "whiplash" claims; this area is a notorious black spot for such frauds. Unfortunately, the ambulance service's response time will, in my opinion, get longer and longer as more cuts are made to the service and more people make demands on the service both legitimately and through abuse of the service. I firmly believe that the vast majority of ambulance, nursing and medical personnel are trying to do their very best and also trying to fulfill their commitment to their vocation; I wish everyone else thought the same. In conclusion I would like to state that obviously there are cases of negligence, these should be dealt with and the victims or their families should be compensated. In this case and given the time of day, (rush hour) there is a spike in demand for the ambulance service and there are limited resources available at a time when the roads are very busy; I know this because I used to work at the BT 999 call centre in Blackburn. Sadly the ambulance service can not save everyone. Malthus
  • Score: 14

4:39pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Truth will out says...

12 minutes for an ambulance in rush-hour traffic does not seem too excessive. I am sure the drivers were getting to the family as quickly as they could. If the timing figures are recorded on a tracking system then it seems plausible.

Even if the figures are disputed it sounds academic based on the coroner's report.

I feel bad for the family for what must have been an extremely traumatic time but unfortunately this action won't help them or other families who may need the ambulance.
12 minutes for an ambulance in rush-hour traffic does not seem too excessive. I am sure the drivers were getting to the family as quickly as they could. If the timing figures are recorded on a tracking system then it seems plausible. Even if the figures are disputed it sounds academic based on the coroner's report. I feel bad for the family for what must have been an extremely traumatic time but unfortunately this action won't help them or other families who may need the ambulance. Truth will out
  • Score: 13

5:26pm Thu 20 Mar 14

useyourhead says...

not to sound unsympathetic but if the daughter is a nurse and believes she knew her mum had already passed surely she must realise the crews could have done nothing whatever time they had arrived, and she should also be aware that ambulance crews cannot pronounce death, it must be done by a doctor. maybe their energies would be better used raising funds to help.
not to sound unsympathetic but if the daughter is a nurse and believes she knew her mum had already passed surely she must realise the crews could have done nothing whatever time they had arrived, and she should also be aware that ambulance crews cannot pronounce death, it must be done by a doctor. maybe their energies would be better used raising funds to help. useyourhead
  • Score: 8

5:46am Fri 21 Mar 14

hasnado33 says...

Here wego again the ambulance are great and every one wants to blame someone evan though the daughter said she was gone.what are they hoping to achieve ?
Here wego again the ambulance are great and every one wants to blame someone evan though the daughter said she was gone.what are they hoping to achieve ? hasnado33
  • Score: 3

11:42pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Steven11 says...

hasnado33 wrote:
Here wego again the ambulance are great and every one wants to blame someone evan though the daughter said she was gone.what are they hoping to achieve ?
Money , that is what this is all about. !
[quote][p][bold]hasnado33[/bold] wrote: Here wego again the ambulance are great and every one wants to blame someone evan though the daughter said she was gone.what are they hoping to achieve ?[/p][/quote]Money , that is what this is all about. ! Steven11
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree