Huppert calls for answers after dying pensioner’s 999 wait

8 July, 2013 No Comments

Dying Cambridge pensioner, Barry Edwards waited almost two and a half hours for an emergency ambulance which eventually arrived from Great Yarmouth – 83 miles away. 

Now his distraught sister, Madelaine Edwards has called on Cambridge MP Julian Huppert to help her make sure that no-one else suffers the same delay as her brother.   

Mr Edwards, 79, of Ashbury Close, who was suffering from an aortic aneurysm – a swelling on the largest artery in the body – dialled 999 on the afternoon of December 5 last year complaining of severe stomach pains.

 But the call was not treated as an emergency and it took a further two 999 calls and visits from a doctor and a paramedic before an ambulance finally arrived from Great Yarmouth in Suffolk. 

Mr Edwards was taken to Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital – a journey which should take less than 10 minutes – and died the following morning. 

Madelaine, of Shelley Gardens, Cambridge, who watched her brother suffering in agony as he pleaded with the ambulance service for help, said: “I knew my brother was going to die. The last few hours of his life were horrific. He deserved so much better than that. 

“I’m not vindictive. I don’t want compensation. I just want to hear the emergency tapes of the calls made to the ambulance service about my brother’s case so that I can avoid this happening to anyone else. 

“I want to make sure that the operators who are taking the initial 999 calls are properly trained so that no-one else has to go through what we did.” 

Madelaine asked Julian to take up the case and he wrote to the East of England Ambulance Service. He was told an investigation had taken place but Madelaine was not happy with the response and a review of the case is being held. 

Julian said: “This was an appalling situation. Mr Edwards was suffering from a life-threatening condition and his case should have been treated as an emergency as soon as he made that first 999 call. 

“My sympathies are with his family at this time and I understand fully why his sister finds it difficult to understand how this happened. 

“I want to make sure that the ambulance service carries out a full review of this case and puts changes in place so that other families don’t have to suffer in this way.”


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