Investigation launched after teenager dies after 999 trust sends ambulance to the wrong address

Elouise Keeling

Elouise Keeling - Credit: Archant

A mother spoke of her devastation after her teenage daughter died following ambulance response delays caused by paramadics being sent to the wrong address.

An investigation has been launched by the East of England Ambulance Service following the death of 14-year-old Elouise Keeling last month.

The teenager died whilst at an Air Cadet meeting at RAF Brampton in Cambridgeshire on Tuesday, June 25, after suffering an asthma attack.

The 14-year-old, who lived with her family in Grafham Road, Ellington, Cambridgeshire, was unconscious when the ambulance arrived and despite attempts of paramedics to revive her, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

An ambulance was called at 7.44pm, but Miss Keeling's family said it was sent to RAF Wyton, seven miles away, by mistake.

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Her mother Karen Keeling said the error meant another ambulance to had to be sent.

She said that the second ambulance arrived at 8.03pm – giving a response time more than double the eight minute nationally set target.

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Mrs Keeling, 33, said: 'Ellie called me herself to say that she had bad asthma and when I got there she was unconscious. We definitely know that the ambulance went to RAF Wyton and when the second one was sent it only took four minutes to get to Brampton.'

She added: 'We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken at the loss of Elouise and our lives will never be the same without her. All we want now is justice and to make sure that nobody has to go through what we have again.'

When RAF Brampton closed in April last year many of its operations moved over to RAF Wyton, with the Brampton Camp's address now listed under RAF Wyton's postcode on the base's website.

A spokesman from the ambulance trust said that no further details of the incident could be revealed until the findings of the investigation were completed.

The spokesman said: 'The reason that the incident is being investigated is that it is classed as a potentially serious incident – the basic definition of which is an incident where a failing in an ambulance service process could have potentially led to further harm to a patient.'

'The incident is currently undergoing a full internal investigation. The patient's family are aware of this and are being kept fully informed throughout the process.'

Elouise, who had asthma from the age of 18 months, was described by her mother as a 'bright, happy and healthy young girl'.

Her family thanked the 350 people who attended Elouise's funeral in Ellington on July 5, where a walk took place from the village green to the church where she was buried.

An inquest was opened and adjourned shortly after Elouise's death.

The East of England Ambulance Service has been heavily criticised over response delays over the last year. More than 50 serious incidents were recorded in 2012/13 where patients died or serious harm was caused by the NHS trust failing in its duties.

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