1. ITV Report

Ambulance service 'failure in care' in paramedic case

Mrs Marion Giles, 66, (right) walks into the inquest of her husband with her solicitor Mary Ann Charles. Photo: Tom White/PA

A coroner has said there was a failure in care by the North East Ambulance Service for a man who died from a heart attack after a paramedic refused to administer drugs.

An inquest into the death of Grahame Giles, 61, was opened after a previous coroner was not made aware of all the facts of the case.

These included that Brian Jewers, the paramedic in question who worked for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), was struck off following the incident in 2008.

Mr Giles' widow Marion, now 66, and from Warkworth, Northumberland, was only informed about what happened following an investigation by Sky News.

She had not been aware that Mr Jewers refused to administer drugs and that doctors believed her husband may have otherwise survived.

The inquest heard that the failure of the NEAS to inform Mrs Giles of the full circumstances surrounding her husband's death, in March 2008, was due to a breakdown in communications.

It also heard that the risk and claim department within the trust was not even aware of the investigation into Mr Jewers actions until three years after the incident.

Coroner Tony Brown said: "There was a clear missed opportunity to provide more suitable medical care by the paramedic.

"This failure in care was also a failure in care provided by Brian Jewers' employers the North East Ambulance Service."

The inquest heard that Mr Jewers was asked to attend a course to give him the relevant training but he declined.

Katie Gollop, representing the Trust, said that as a result he was not qualified to make the decision to administer the drug but in this case he had been instructed to do so by a doctor.

Speaking after the narrative verdict delivered by the coroner, Mrs Giles said she should have been told what happened to her husband.

"Today's inquest hopefully brings an end to a very difficult period for my family, and I hope we can now put these painful events behind us and move on with our lives.

"Nothing is going to bring my husband back but what I wanted more than anything from today was the reassurance that nothing like this can happen again to another family. I hope this will be the case.

"I should have been told what had happened to my husband at the start. I was entitled to know the truth.

"The hardest thing to come to terms with was to hear three years after my husband died that the truth had all been hushed up.

"That was very deceitful. I thought it was horrendous that they could have done that to me.

"I was just getting over his death when I was told that perhaps he could have lived if this paramedic had done his job properly. It was an awful shock.

"What I want more than anything is to be reassured that it can never happen again and that the serious issues raised today have been addressed."