Investigation after it took two hours to get to hospital by ambulance

by Ed Stilliard , Senior Reporter 11:30am Tuesday 12th February 2013 in News

AMBULANCE chiefs have launched an investigation after it took two hours to get a Hampshire grandmother to hospital when she suffered a stroke.

Molly Jean Chalk’s sons dialled 999 immediately after she collapsed and rapid response paramedics arrived within minutes.

But they could not give the care and drugs she needed so an ambulance was called. Yet, despite advice that speedy treatment is crucial for stroke victims, it took another 90 minutes for the emergency vehicle to arrive at Molly’s Eastleigh home.

It was a further half an hour before she was delivered to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

Last night she lay in a hospital bed with severe brain damage, paralysed down one side, unable to recognise her family and with little prospect of making a recovery.

Sons Paul and Jason are furious at the delay in treating their 80-year-old mum.

They say they even offered to take her to the hospital themselves in their car but were told it was “best to wait” because the paramedics could not carry her out.

“It’s so frustrating. We’re so angry about it,” Paul, 58, told the Daily Echo.

“You see the adverts, they say you have to act fast and it takes them so long. We want to raise this so that other people don’t have to go through this.

“Jason lives with Mum, he devotes himself to her he’s totally devastated by it all.”

The family has lodged a complaint with South Central Ambulance Service, which last night refused to confirm or deny the two-hour delay.

A spokesman said: “We take any issues of delay of care to our patients very seriously and therefore we are investigating the complaint. Until the investigation has been completed we are unable to comment further.”

Experts say quick treatment is vital when someone suffers a stroke. Dr Clare Walton from the Stroke Association said: “When someone has a stroke it’s vital that they get treated as quickly as possible.

“In some cases, patients can benefit from clot busting treatments which could reduce the amount of brain damage.”

Now Molly’s family – including daughter Sarah – are facing the agonising decision whether to keep their mother on a life support machine or allow her to die peacefully.

Paul added: “The doctor has said nothing about making a recovery. There might be a very slight improvement, but her quality of life would be zilch. It’s heart-wrenching seeing your mum like that. Who would want to keep their mum alive like that?”

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12:47pm Tue 12 Feb 13 CharlieOxbridge says…

I hate all these adverts that are plastered all over your web pages ECHO!!!

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1:02pm Tue 12 Feb 13 southy says…

Don't blame the NHS, Put the blame where it belongs and that is those who make changes and cuts to the services.

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1:14pm Tue 12 Feb 13 Mary80 says…

Surely rapid response paramedics DO carry the drugs needed thats the ENTIRE point of it

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1:28pm Tue 12 Feb 13 999medic says…

Let me educate you, rapid response cars carry all the same drugs as an ambulance, however in the event of a stroke this is not the case. The patient would first require assessment by the appropriate specialists, then would need to undergo aCT scan, to determine type of stroke eg haemorrhagic, or clot/fat embolism, in the event of the first It would rule out thrombolysisdue to increased bleeding. If the stroke was not witnessed, this again exclude for thrombolysis. I hope the lady in this instance makes a recovery.

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2:29pm Tue 12 Feb 13 ohec says…

Its a very sad tale but i think it would be better to wait for the outcome of the investigation before commenting, that said i live on a main road and frequently see ambulances etc rushing by and indeed i would be dead were it not for the expertise of the ambulance crew so as far as i am concerned the people on the front line do a magnificent job so i fear it might be down to cutbacks but that will never be admitted.

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3:18pm Tue 12 Feb 13 czksmsaj0009 says…

this makes me sick this is about my aunty and the way her and family have been treated was wrong i had the same problem 2 years ago when a ex partner of mine had a heart attack took them 2 hours its disgusting thats for sure we could lose a family member who should have been on high priority list for a ambulance

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