A retired telecoms engineer who lost an “excessive amount of blood” after falling at home died following a three-and-a-half hour wait for an ambulance. 

Russell Driver, 89, of Collingwood Drive in Mundesley, fell backwards at around 2.45am on August 30 and was unable to get up after hitting his head on a door.

Emergency services were called remotely via the alarm service Careline 365 just before 3am, but were unaware Mr Driver had sustained a head injury. 

Paramedics from the East of England Ambulance arrived at 6.33am and used a key safe to enter the house before going upstairs to him. 

Eastern Daily Press:

Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard how “a significant amount of blood” had come from a 2cm wound on his head. 

The “excessive bleeding” equated to around a pint-and-a-half loss of blood. 

Mr Driver was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, arriving at 8.33am before being assessed at 8.49am. 

Eastern Daily Press: Collingwood Drive in Mundesley

Dr Brett Griffiths, a consultant for older people’s medicine, described him arriving at the hospital as “conscious and alert but pale looking”. 

He was given a blood transfusion but deteriorated and died at 6.30pm. 

Addressing concerns raised by Mr Driver’s family about ambulance waiting times in north Norfolk, Dr Griffiths said: “Unfortunately, Mr Driver was a frail man with multiple and irreversible comorbidities.  

“Therefore, I expect the outcome was always likely to be poor.  

“However, it is certainly not ideal to have been left on the floor with a significant head injury for such a long period of time. I think we need to acknowledge that to the family. 

"But I really cannot say whether the ambulance arriving sooner would have changed the outcome.” 

The court, based at County Hall in Norwich, also heard that Mr Driver was diagnosed with heart failure following a heart attack in 2021 and was being treated palliatively. 

The medical cause of death was given as decompensated congestive cardiac failure with blood loss from external head injury following a fall. 

At the inquest held on December 5, area coroner Samantha Goward concluded that Mr Driver died “due to a combination of blood loss due to head injury from a fall and underlying medical conditions.” 

  • To pay tribute to a loved one, email norfolkobituaries@newsquest.co.uk 
  • To read all obituaries and tributes join the Facebook group Norfolk's Loved & Lost.