Long wait for ambulance after man fell, inquest told

Richard Hansbury
Richard Hansbury

A Wigan man who fell at his home died after waiting nearly three hours to be taken to hospital by ambulance, an inquest heard.

High demand for emergency vehicles and delays handing patients over at hospitals meant North West Ambulance Service could not immediately send a crew to treat Richard Hansbury.

Bolton Coroner’s Court was told today that the first 999 call to sheltered accommodation on Brindley Street in Pemberton was made at 6.11pm on October 3.

But a delay due to an ambulance not being available, followed by a wait for a second ambulance, meant it was not until 8.58pm that the 65-year-old arrived at Wigan Infirmary.

He had lost a lot of blood from a head wound after falling and banging his head, the inquest heard.

Doctors fought to save him, but he died less than two hours later after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The inquest heard the head injury, exacerbated by blood-thinning medication and combined with other natural diseases, led to his death.

The coroner said it was not possible to say whether Mr Hansbury would have survived if he had received treatment earlier.

And he said there would still have been delays even if an ambulance had been dispatched at 6.11pm, as a second ambulance crew was needed to help move Mr Hansbury.

After the inquest, a North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were very sorry to hear about Mr Hansbury’s death and again offer our heartfelt condolences to his family.

“We have been in regular contact with Mr Hansbury’s family and this incident was thoroughly investigated. The findings from this were shared with them in full.

“We can confirm that at the time of the incident, the trust was experiencing a high demand for its services and a number of our resources were waiting with patients at nearby hospitals.

“We note all of the coroner’s comments from the inquest.”