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'He suffered an horrendous death he didn't deserve' - family trauma over 'horrific' ambulance response

PUBLISHED: 11:36 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:51 30 May 2019

Robert Chandler who died last year. Issues raised at his inquest prompted the coroner to write a 'prevention of deaths' report Picture: supplied by family

Robert Chandler who died last year. Issues raised at his inquest prompted the coroner to write a 'prevention of deaths' report Picture: supplied by family

supplied by family

An elderly man was failed by an ambulance response team and died in "horrific circumstances", his family has claimed.

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake has sent a 'prevention of future deaths' report to the chief executive of the East Anglian Ambulance Service .
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYNorfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake has sent a 'prevention of future deaths' report to the chief executive of the East Anglian Ambulance Service . PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Robert Chandler, 85, died in the James Paget University Hospital after he suffered a collapsed lung in September last year.

Issues that arose during the inquest into his death were deemed so serious that coroner Jacqueline Lake wrote a prevention of future deaths report, making a series of recommendations.

The East of England Ambulance Service has apologised to Mr Chandler's family for the distress suffered during his treatment and transfer to hospital.

"Issues of concern" raised at the inquest included a 50 minute delay, equipment failure, and the way he was lifted given the nature of his chest injury.

In a statement the family said "a calamity of errors" had made an already traumatic experience worse.

It said: "Considering my Dad was lying on the floor for over an hour waiting for help, albeit in discomfort but generally in good spirits.

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He added: "It is unbearable for all of us to know that all this was done to my father without any pain relief at all despite repeated requests from my mum to the crew to ease his discomfort.

"Sadly this will be a lasting memory of our experience with an ambulance service that prior to this incident we all believed was the envy of the whole world.

"The report and statements only reinforce the whole family's belief that due to the extended delay of attendance, along with a calamity of errors by the ambulance crew, my father suffered a horrendous death that he didn't deserve, and he has been robbed of a peaceful passing in his old age.

"We are convinced that had an emergency response team arrived in good time, and had they carried out the correct lifting procedures once in attendance, there would be every chance my father would have survived this fall, and our family would not have been put through such a heart breaking ordeal of seeing our loved one taken from us in such horrific circumstances."

The ambulance service said in response: "We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mr Chandler's family.

"We have formally apologised to them for the delay in reaching Mr Chandler and for the distress they suffered during his treatment and transfer to hospital.

"Our chief executive provided a response to the coroner and Mr Chandler's family regarding the report to prevent future deaths within the timescale given which addresses each of the points raised and, where appropriate, provides further explanation or details of actions being undertaken.

"This will be published by the coroner in due course."

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