A three-month-old baby died after an ambulance took three times the target time to reach her because it stopped to refuel and then got lost twice.
Bella Hellings’ mother Amy Carter called for an ambulance when the infant suffered a fit at home and stopped breathing.
But instead of reaching the infant within the recommended eight minutes it took paramedics – who were the third ambulance to be called – 26 minutes to arrive at the scene.
The health trust responsible for the crew has now identified a ‘catalogue of errors’ in a damning report into the tragedy.
East of England Ambulance Service Trust’s (EEAST) own investigation into the blunders has found:
- A crew attending a patient 30 miles away was initially assigned, when there was an ambulance free just five miles away – but was never dispatched;
- When a third ambulance was finally sent to the emergency it had to stop to refuel;
- The crew of the third ambulance, including a driver on her first shift, then couldn’t find the house that other ambulances had not struggled to reach;
- An air ambulance carrying a doctor was dispatched to the scene, but no-one informed the ground paramedics, who drove off with Bella;
- The ambulance then got lost again on its way back to A&E, even though Bella’s mother was shouting directions;
- When it finally reached the hospital the paramedics did not know how to work the lift and a paramedic carried the infant inside the hospital.
By the time Bella was seen by a doctor she had not been breathing for almost an hour and was pronounced dead.
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