Bella Hellings inquest

An inquest takes place today into the death of Thetford baby Bella Hellings. An East of England Ambulance Service crew took half an hour to reach her after she stopped breathing in March this year.

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East of England Ambulance Service accepts coroner's findings

The East of England Ambulance Service said it agreed with a coroner who said its crew had taken far too long to reach a baby girl in Norfolk.

An inquest heard how a Bella Hellings died after one emergency vehicle got lost and another stopped for petrol as they answered her mother's 999 call.

Paramedics took 26 minutes - more than three times longer than national targets - to get to the Thetford home.

Coroner William Armstrong said the delays by the East of England Ambulance Service were caused by "serious shortcomings", a "catalogue of catastrophes" and a "chaotic response."

Natalie Gray reports.

Ambulance delays were indefensible, says coroner

A coroner said the delay by the ambulance service in giving care to Norfolk baby Bella Hellings was "wholly indefensible".

William Armstrong concluded the three-month-old died as a result of congenital heart disease after delays in medical assistance reduced her chances of survival.

He said: "We are told that at the time the ambulance service was experiencing significant demand and there were apparently insufficient resources to meet that demand.

"Twenty-six minutes is a very, very long period of time indeed.

"The delay in giving Bella the care that she needed was wholly indefensible. There was a catalogue of catastrophes and a chaotic response."

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Ambulance delays reduced Bella's chances of survival

Bella Hellings died after a "catalogues of catastrophes" by the ambulance service. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ambulance delays reduced the chances of survival for a baby girl from Norfolk, a coroner concluded today.

Three-month-old Bella Hellings died at hospital after she suffered a fit and stopped breathing at her home in Thetford.

Paramedics had taken 26 minutes - more than three times longer than national targets dictate - to arrive at the house after a "catalogue of catastrophes".

Today Norfolk coroner William Armstrong recorded a narrative verdict that the baby died from congenital heart disease after delays in medical assistance which reduced the prospects of her survival.

He said: "By anyone's standard this was a grave emergency - what happened here was a long, long way from the eight-minute response target."

"Effective resuscitation" may have helped baby Bella

Bella Hellings, who died in March. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A doctor has told an inquest into the death of Thetford baby Bella Hellings that "effective resuscitation" as soon as she stopped breathing would have improved her chances of survival.

The three-month-old died in March after having a fit.

A crew from the East of England Ambulance Service took nearly half an hour to reach her and then got lost on its way to hospital.

Dr Martina Noone, consultant paediatrician at West Suffolk Hospital, told today's inquest in Norwich: "It's impossible to know if the delay of the ambulance affected the outcome but if effective resuscitation is done immediately the chance of a successful outcome is improved."

Bella had been born five weeks early with a heart murmur.

By the beginning of February her condition had got worse and the baby girl was seen by doctors a number of times leading up to her death.

Dr Noone said she was twice referred to specialists at the Royal Brompton Hospital but experts felt Bella's condition was not serious enough to operate.

Inquest into death of Bella Hellings begins

The family of a baby girl who died following a "catalogue of errors" by the ambulance service have arrived at an inquest into her death.

Bella Hellings died in March after she had a fit and stopped breathing at her home in Thetford.

Today's inquest has so far heard from Caron Keens, an emergency care assistant with East Of England Ambulance Service who was on board the ambulance sent to Bella.

She said the vehicle did not have enough fuel to get to the house, near Thetford, so they had to stop on the way.

They then struggled to find the address.

The three-month-old was in a very poor way when the ambulance crew eventually arrived 26 minutes after being called.

Last month, a report into how Bella died by the East of England Ambulance Service admitted it had made a "catalogue of errors".

Inquest into death of baby let down by ambulance trust

Bella Hellings, who died in March. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An inquest into the death of a baby girl whose mother spent 26 minutes trying to revive her while waiting for an ambulance will take place today.

Bella Hellings died in March after she had a fit and stopped breathing at her home in Thetford.

It took ambulance crews nearly half an hour to reach the home and they went on to get lost on their way to the hospital.

Last month, a report into how the three-month-old died by the East of England Ambulance Service admitted it had made a "catalogue of errors".

The inquest will take place in Norwich.

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'Catalogue of errors' before baby's death

A report into how a three month-old baby from Norfolk died, after an ambulance took half an hour to reach her, has described a 'catalogue of errors'. Bella Hellings from Thetford stopped breathing in March this year, but arrived at hospital nearly an hour later.

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