A 999 error may have caused 8-year old Clayton Barker his life after his grandmother’s call was wrongly categorised. The call was put into a category for less serious cases but, if the call was correctly categorised, the ambulance may have arrived before Clayton collapsed from an asthma attack. Senior coroner for Manchester North Simon Nelson has said that Clayton’s chances of survival would have increased had the call been categorised correctly. Clayton suffered from asthma from the age of five and was said to be energetic despite his condition. The eight-year-old started to struggle for breath while staying at his grandmother’s house in March last year. His grandmother called for help but the 999 operator listed the call as less serious than it was. The next ambulance available was then sent to another emergency and the next ambulance did not arrive to tend to Clayton until 23 minutes after the original call. His grandmother was asked if Clayton was having difficulties speaking through breaths to which the answer was ‘yes’ but the operator recorded the answer as ‘no’. The call was then regarded as less serious than it should have been. The ambulance could have arrived before Clayton collapsed but the eight-year-old sadly died on arrival to Royal Oldham Hospital. The family of Clayton are said to be taking legal action against the North West Ambulance Service.
Administration errors and medical negligence
A 999 error as simple as this can result in lives lost or can cause unnecessary stress and suffering if there is a delay in treatment as a result of the error. Similarly, patient mix-ups may be a simple mistake but it can lead to the wrong treatment or even wrongful surgery carried out on the wrong patient. The original patient may see their illness worsen as a result of delays in treatment or lack of treatment. Failing to check medical records or failing to update records with accurate information could result in a patient being given the wrong medication or being given medication known to cause harmful effects to that patient. If you have been a victim of medical negligence, you may be able to win some compensation.
The claims process
You may wish to seek no-obligation advice from Accident Advice Helpline regarding your compensation claim. We can represent you throughout and help you to obtain the evidence you need to help your case. If there is evidence that you have been a victim of medical negligence, we could help you win a cash payout to help you cope financially after the incident. Call our free helpline or contact us via our website to speak with an adviser.
Date Published: September 19, 2014
Author: David Brown