Mum speaks of son's last moments after he was told he faced a four-hour A&E wait

Sue Atkin believes her son may have survived, had he been seen sooner at A&E, reports ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger

A mother has spoken of her devastation after her 27-year-old son died after facing a four-hour wait at A&E.

Norman Barker's mother spoke to ITV News on the day it emerged waiting times for NHS accident and emergency departments in England had reached a record high.

In September a quarter of patients who went to A&Es in England waited longer than four hours for treatment, the lowest percentage since monthly records began in 2010.

Norman Barker's grandmother was told it would be a two-hour wait for an ambulance when she called 999. Credit: ITV News

When Sue Atkin's son developed serious chest pains, became very clammy and sensitive to light three weeks ago, her mother, Linda, who Mr Barker lived with and was raised by, called an ambulance but was told there would be a two-hour wait for an ambulance, so Ms Atkin took him straight to Lincoln County Hospital.

"It was packed, people were standing outside A&E. There was nowhere to stand anywhere outside the A&E at all," Ms Atkin said.

Sue Atkin tearfully describes her son's final moments

She added that there was nowhere for her son - also known as James Salvatore - to get a drink of water and with a four-hour wait for assessment, she decided to take him home.

Ms Atkin continued: "We had just got out of the hospital entrance, he said 'help me mum' and then he collapsed."

Ms Atkin said that a passing off-duty nurse began performing CPR and flagged down an ambulance, and that from then on the hospital could not have done more to try and save her son, but sadly he died.

Norman Barker's mother and grandmother told ITV News 'how loved' he was. Credit: ITV News

Had Mr Barker been seen sooner, both his mother and grandmother believe he may have survived.

"If they'd done their job, he probably still would have been here," Ms Atkin said.

Breaking down outside the hospital, Mr Barker's mother and grandmother told ITV News "how loved" the "polite gentleman" was.

A United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases but offer our sincere condolences to Mr Barker's family, and are fully investigating what happened.”

Norman Barker was a "happy, smiling" man, his mother said.

Mr Barker's death comes amid soaring NHS wait times in England.

A record 469,00 people - one in four - waited over four hours in A&E last month. 5,025 waited for over 12 hours.

And it's not just A&E, there were 5.7 million patients still waiting to start routine hospital treatment at the end of August. Coronavirus is behind some of that backlog, but people also head to A&E when they can't get an appointment with their GP.

NHS England said measures, including a £250 million winter access fund, will enable GP practices to improve availability for in-person appointments and same-day care.

However, the government has said GPs must start offering more in-person appointments and those who do not will be exposed in league tables.

Ms Atkin has set up a fundraising page to help cover Mr Barker's funeral costs.