LAS apologises to mum for comment made as she waited 2.5 hours for paramedics to attend seriously ill baby

09:00 16 March 2014

Seriously ill David Cowlbeck had a two-and-a-half hour wait for an ambulance

Seriously ill David Cowlbeck had a two-and-a-half hour wait for an ambulance


London Ambulance Service has apologised to a mother for a comment made by control staff as she waited two-and-a-half hours for an ambulance to take her seriously ill baby to hospital.

Kerry Brown, of Romford, called 999 after four-month-old son David turned pale and became severely drowsy.

She was told by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) that paramedics would arrive within 40 minutes. But she ended up waiting more than treble that time.

By the time David arrived at Queen’s Hospital A&E, in Romford, his kidneys had begun to fail. He then spent several days in hospital before being sent home.

Kerry, 23, frantically called the emergency services three times before help arrived.

She claims she was told that she should get a taxi to the hospital.

She was also told that once ambulance staff arrived they would only be able to transport David to hospital rather than administer treatment.

The LAS sent her a letter earlier this month, apologising for the comment regarding treatment by paramedics – four months after the incident.

Kerry said: “I feel like I’ve been swept under the carpet. This apology is rubbish.

“They’ve apologised for one comment but not for telling me to get a taxi to the hospital with my critically ill son or the fact that I had to wait two hours and 29 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. It’s shameful.”

Kerry lodged a complaint shortly after the incident on November 30 and she has since sent a request to the LAS to review their response.

LAS said: “Unfortunately, due to very high demand we were unable to send an ambulance as quickly as we would have liked and, although two crews were dispatched, they were diverted to what were believed to be higher priority calls.

“We have provided a detailed response to Ms Brown’s complaint and would like to apologise again for the delay. We will also be responding to a follow- up letter from her as soon as we can.”


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