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  1. ITV Report

Coroner: South East Coast Ambulance "neglect" contributed to pensioners' deaths

A coroner has concluded that neglect and failings by South East Coast Ambulance Service were contributing factors in the deaths of two pensioners.

The late arrival of ambulances was linked to the deaths of three pensioners in East Sussex.

90-year-old Daisy Filby, died after waiting more than an hour and a half for an ambulance. The inquest at the coroners' court in Hastings heard how Mrs Filby lay face down, unable to move, at her home in Seaford after a fall.

Mrs Filby was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a conclusion of "accident contributed to by neglect" and said: "There clearly was a failure to provide basic medical attention."

Mr Craze concluded that Anthony Harding, 84, died of natural causes after a 999 call made after he collapsed was triaged as a "minor medical issue" and medics did not arrive for more than an hour "because of a shortage of resources".

The inquest into a third pensioner - 87-year-old great-grandfather Maurice Goodwin - concluded that he died from "natural causes contributed to by neglect". District nurses arrived more than three hours after the first 999 call.

A spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) said: "Since these incidents took place in 2017, it is important to note that a significant amount of work has taken place to improve the service we provide both in our emergency operations centres and in responding to patients in the community. Many of these improvements were highlighted in our most recent Care Quality Commission report."

  • South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb)'s full statement in response to the coroner's findings:

Our thoughts are with the families and everyone affected at this difficult time and we are very sorry for the service they received. We have listened very closely to the coroner throughout and we are committed to making further improvements where necessary.

Since these incidents took place in 2017, it is important to note that a significant amount of work has taken place to improve the service we provide both in our emergency operations centres and in responding to patients in the community. Many of these improvements were highlighted in our most recent Care Quality Commission report.

We are continuing to work hard so that we are best placed to respond to patients across our region and we remain committed to further improvement.”

– South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) spokesperson

More to follow.