Page last updated at 20:46 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 21:46 UK

Ambulance criticised over death

Friends of an 81-year-old man say ambulance response times must be improved after he died outside his front door following a heart attack.

Alfred 'Pip' Parry, from Lawnside Road in Ledbury, Herefordshire, lived about 100 yards from an ambulance station but one had to be sent from Bromyard.

Mr Parry died despite his 12-year-old great-granddaughter attempting to resuscitate him.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said circumstances "worked against" it.

Janet Meredith and Peta Barnes have organised a petition over response times in Ledbury.

'Definite message'

The ambulance service said it was "very regrettable" the time it took to arrive was longer than it would have hoped for.

Spokesman Murray McGregor said from what he understood, the service did a "fantastic job" once they arrived.

He said: "Clearly it depends (on) the exact positioning of the ambulance.

"But certainly the crews, when they know there's a cardiac arrest, as it is in this case, will do everything possible to get there as quickly as they can as safely as they can."

Mr McGregor added that in general only 10% of its calls are genuinely life-threatening.

He said: "I think there is a very definite message here for members of the public that they do need to consider which part of the NHS that they want to access, so cases like this become more and more rare."

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