‘It should’ve been a red flag’ - Brother of ambulance worker responds to staff deaths’ report
PUBLISHED: 08:58 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:50 14 May 2020
The brother of an ambulance worker, whose death sparked a wide-reaching investigation into the 999 service, has questioned why some of the findings were not in place before three staff deaths.
Daniel Wright, brother of ambulance dispatcher Luke Wright, said he was happy with the investigation’s recommendations, which were published on Wednesday.
But he asked why recommendations - such as training for managers to spot mental health issues and staff who were off sick having contact with one manager rather than several - were not in place before.
“When Luke was off sick, he could have spoken to one manager during a wellbeing check and the next time he could speak to someone else who he may not feel comfortable with,” Mr Wright said. “There should have been continuity.”
Luke, 24, died on November 10 2019 in Waxham from carbon monoxide poisoning. Two more EEAST workers were also found dead that month; paramedic Christopher Gill, 41, from Welwyn Garden City and paramedic Richard Grimes from Luton.
“There were times when Luke was doing exceptionally well in his job and loving it and then suddenly, he was thinking about a career break,” Mr Wright said. “That should have been a red flag.”
Mr Wright, who also works for the EEAST, said in his experience managers were good at supporting staff if they took a difficult phone call, but if they needed more long-term support, it took a long time to be referred to occupational health.
“I don’t believe he was getting enough support,” he said. “I don’t blame the trust but they could have done a lot more to help; that is true of everyone.”
“Luke always maintained that his work was not stressful,” he added. “He held everything in a locked cage. He would never express that he was having difficulties unless you knew him really, really well.”
He called on people to not be afraid of being judged and speak out about mental health issues.
Mr Wright, 24, said his brother had sought help from his GP and was referred to the wellbeing service.
“He always had a smile on his face. He was very chirpy,” he added.
Mr Wright thanked the trust and the investigator for the report.
He added: “I’m not sure the investigation would have gone ahead without the media attention so I’m glad it did. It is a step in the right direction.”
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