Page last updated at 19:20 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 20:20 UK

Apology for fatal ambulance error

Charles Brewster
Mr Brewster died while waiting for paramedics to arrive

An ambulance service has apologised to the family of a Nottingham man who was refused transport to hospital shortly before dying from a heart attack.

Brenda Brewster called the emergency services when her husband Charles, 72, lay on the kitchen floor of their home in Bulwell after collapsing.

But an East Midlands Ambulance Service (Emas) operator told her the call did not warrant a "high priority" response.

Mr Brewster died last November while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Control nurse

Emas has admitted the call should have been given a higher priority.

The couple's daughter, Sarah Colton, said her father had had a history of health problems.

Sarah Colton
Sarah Colton is unhappy over the way her father was treated

"He had Parkinson's disease, he'd been in remission from cancer, he had heart disease, thyroid problems...he used to fall regularly.

"When the time was there when we needed an ambulance, we couldn't get one.

"He was a wonderful man, he'd do anything to help anybody...he was such a gentle man."

In a statement, Emas said: "It was classified as a category C call and passed to a control nurse.

"We feel that on the basis of the information we received the initial call should have been upgraded in the first instance as a category B call - serious."

The family has made an official complaint to the ambulance service.

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Part of the 999 call made to East Midlands Ambulance Service



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