Ambulance Watch: Woman, 74, dies after waiting four hours for ambulance

Isabel Carter with her husband David on their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Isabel died in December 20

Isabel Carter with her husband David on their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Isabel died in December 2011 and waited four hours for an ambulance - Credit: Archant

A grandmother died after waiting for almost four hours for an ambulance in a delay caused by a series of failings within the trust.

Today the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) admitted it had made mistakes in responding to 74-year-old Isabel Carter.

Ambulance crews were called to her home in Wymondham at 1.15pm on December 2 2011. They were expected to arrive within two hours and take Mrs Carter, who had abdominal pains, to the surgery unit of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

But a host of errors with the ambulance service meant paramedics did not arrive until 5pm.

Mrs Carter went into cardiac arrest and by the time she arrived at hospital at 6.30pm her pulse was barely beating. After ten minutes of attempting to resuscitate her, doctors gave up.

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At the inquest into her death today, the ambulance trust said failings in its control room and a high demand for paramedics had led to the lengthy delay.

But it insisted it had learned lessons from Mrs Carter's case and had put in new procedures to 'significantly' reduce the chances of similar mistakes.

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Deputy coroner David Osborne said Mrs Carter died from bowel ischaemia.

The inquest heard the condition had a 90pc death rate if untreated and a 50pc to 80pc death rate if treated properly.

•See tomorrow's Eastern Daily Press for the full story.

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