Sutton on Sea man accuses EMAS of ‘breaching duty of care’

Peter Leak
Peter Leak

A Sutton on Sea man has slammed the East Midlands Ambulance Service after he was forced to wait for almost three hours on a shop floor after suffering a mini stroke.

Peter Leak, of Church Lane, accused the ambulance service of ‘breaching their duty of care’ in a strongly-worded letter to them, following the incident in the Lidl supermarket in Mablethorpe on the morning on Saturday, January 19.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS)

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS)

In the letter, sent to EMAS on January 27, Mr Leak explained: “The supermarket manager dialled 999 in the first instance.

“I was laid on the supermarket floor for over two hours and 48 minutes.

“When I was able to converse with the shop manager and I got the use back in my legs, he dialled 999 again, and the operator said that there were still no ambulances available.

“My wife got me home and I wanted her to take me to Louth (Hospital), but Louth Urgent Care Centre said I wanted a CT scan and she should take me to Boston (Pilgrim Hospital)

“I arrived at Boston A&E about 6.30pm to 6.45pm, and after all the tests were done I was told by the duty doctor I’d had a small bleed.

“I am sorry this letter has not been sent sooner but it is the first time I have felt well enough to write it.”

In response, Sue Cousland, General Manager for EMAS Lincolnshire, told the Leader: “We are sorry to hear that Mr Leak experienced a delay and I recognise the distress that this will have caused him.

“Every 999 call is assessed based on the information we are given, and those experiencing a life-threatening emergency such as cardiac arrest or breathing difficulties have to be seen first.

“Using the information shared during the initial call, this incident was categorised as not immediately life-threatening.

“At the time we were responding to a number of people whose life was reported to be at immediate risk, and we are sorry we weren’t able 
to get to this patient faster.

“Until an ambulance was available, our Clinical Assessment Team of nurses and paramedics provided additional support over the telephone to him and those who were helping him.

“We had dispatched an ambulance to Mr Leak when we received a second 999 call to say that he would like to cancel the ambulance and make his own way to hospital.

“We are currently in contact with Mr Leak through our Patient Advice and Liaison Service and would like to speak to him and his family so that we can fully investigate the reason for this delay.”