Search

Prime minister says lessons will be learned after whistleblower exposed concerns at ambulance service

PUBLISHED: 14:19 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 January 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Photo: PA Wire

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Photo: PA Wire

The prime minister has said lessons will be learned after a whistleblower at the region’s ambulance trust exposed 40 alleged cases of harm or deaths due to ambulance delays.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke of the damning dossier revealed last week, where a senior staff member in the trust said 19 people died and a further 21 were harmed in less than three weeks between mid-December and early January.

And they estimated by the time investigations finished as many as 80 cases could be recorded.

Mr Corbyn, speaking at prime minister’s questions today (Wednesday), said: “According to a whistleblower as many as 80 patients were harmed or died following significant ambulance delays over a three week period this winter. This is a very serious situation, what investigation is the Department of Health carrying out into these deeply alarming reports?”

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Photo: PA Wire Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Photo: PA Wire

Mrs May said investigations would be carried out and “if there are lessons to be learned, they will be learned”.

MORE: ‘Risk summit’ ordered after whistleblower raises concerns about East of England Ambulance Service patient deaths



She added: “When we hear reporters of that sort of course they are very alarming. “

Mr Corbyn also used the example highlighted by the whistleblower of a man in Lowestoft apparently freezing to death after waiting for an ambulance as a example of the “NHS in crisis”.

However the prime minister said the NHS had been better prepared for winter than ever before.

Peter Aldous, the Conservative MP for Waveney, called on Mrs May to endorse his plea for a “full and independent investigation” into the case.

(Left to right) Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt during Prime Minister's Questions. Photo: PA Wire (Left to right) Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt during Prime Minister's Questions. Photo: PA Wire

He said he had spoken to the person who made the initial call to 999 and had concerns about the process.

MORE: Region’s ambulance service could need 120 more staff and 20 extra vehicles, senior manager says



The region’s NHS came under intense pressure between mid-December and early January.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Courtesy of Peter Aldous. Waveney MP Peter Aldous. Picture: Courtesy of Peter Aldous.

East of England Ambulance Trust said last week: “We are aware of the claims made by MPs but note no complaints have been received from patients or their families at this time. Nor have any concerns been expressed internally through our line management, whistleblowing or freedom to speak up processes.”

Other news

More than 2,000 hours when ambulance crews could have been responding to other calls in Norfolk were lost due to delays in handing patients over at A&E last month.

16:03

An 83-year-old dog walker was attacked from behind and murdered in a savage knife attack carried out by a man with a strong desire to kill strangers, a court was told today.

Norfolk police are appealing for witnesses after a hunting offence involving a group of dogs took place across farm land in Stiffkey, near Wells.

Nearly 700 adults and young people with learning disabilities could be missing out on essential annual health checks because they have not registered their disability with their GP.

Most Read

06:00

When doctors told her she had just months to live, Norfolk grandmother Liz Johnson and her family were devastated.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Norfolk police are appealing for witnesses after a hunting offence involving a group of dogs took place across farm land in Stiffkey, near Wells.

Read more
Norfolk police
Yesterday, 21:28

Just one KFC restaurant in the whole of Norfolk remained open today as the company continues to face chicken shortages.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:50

A burglar who targeted empty homes in North Norfolk to steal jewellery and valuables worth more than £40,000 was called a “menace” by a judge, who jailed him for four years.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Sunday, February 18, 2018

North Norfolk has been named as a hotspot for property price growth.

Read more
Norfolk

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter