Pensioner bled to death in sheltered accommodation waiting for ambulance

Ambulances outside Accident and Emergency, WiganAmbulances outside Accident and Emergency, Wigan
Ambulances outside Accident and Emergency, Wigan
A pensioner bled to death after a two-and-a-half-hour delay in getting him to hospital after a fall, it has been reported.

Richard Hansbury was discovered in his sheltered accommodation flat in Wigan by neighbours after they heard his cries for help.

The 65-year-old was bleeding heavily from a wound to his head.

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Although the 999 was flagged as a serious “red” call - meaning paramedics should have been there within eight minutes - the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) was so busy that it was more than an hour before paramedics arrived.

They treated Mr Hansbury, who weighed 19 stone, but had to call for help from another crew to help them lift him into an ambulance so he could be taken to hospital, a short distance away.

But no other crew was available, meaning it was two hours and 42 minutes after the first 999 call before Mr Hansbury got to hospital.

By then, his blood pressure had dropped to a dangerously low level due to blood loss, it was reported. The father-of-two suffered three heart attacks and died less than three hours later.

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A report into Mr Hansbury’s death, shows that on the day he died, Monday October 3, the service was “’extremely busy” and as many as 15 ambulances were stuck in queues at hospitals across Greater Manchester as paramedics waited to hand over their patients to A&E doctors.

On Tuesday night, Mr Hansbury’s sister, Rosaline Fox, 66, said she was “absolutely appalled” by the way her brother was let down.

The retired district nurse said: “It’s barbaric that Richard died that way. The bottom line is that if the ambulance service had arrived in any sort of reasonable time my brother would still be alive today.”

A post-mortem examination concluded Mr Hansbury died primarily of blood loss from the head wound.

An inquest into his death will open on Friday.

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A North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We’re very sorry to hear about Mr Hansbury’s death and have offered our heartfelt condolences to his family during this difficult time.

“We are in regular contact with Mr Hansbury’s family, and have assured them that the circumstances surrounding the incident are being thoroughly investigated. The findings from this will be shared with them in full.

“We can confirm that at the time of the incident, the Trust was experiencing a high demand for its services and unfortunately a number of our resources were waiting with patients at nearby hospitals.”