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Last Updated: Monday, 18 October, 2004, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
Doctor's plea for ambulance
Luke Gallimore
Luke Gallimore, 16, waited two hours for an ambulance

Jackie Gallimore's dying son Luke, 16, waited for two hours as doctors tried to get an ambulance to take him 300 yards to intensive care.

Here is a full transcript of consultant Dr Kieron Lennon's conversation with Staffordshire Ambulance Service on 11 July, released by the family.

Dr Lennon: "There's apparently been an ambulance arranged to pick up a lad from ward 73 to take him to paediatric ICU."

Ambulance control: "Right, we (were) just discussing that. What's the problem? Are you still waiting?"

Dr Lennon: "This is extremely urgent. It's a 16-year-old who is critically unwell and who needs to get to ICU yesterday. I've been waiting here over an hour now and this lad is in danger if he doesn't get to ICU very, very quickly."

Ambulance control: "Doctor, A&E is holding the crews, they're not letting them clear. We've got three crews waiting in A&E to offload patients."

Dr Lennon: "This is absolutely critical, this lad has severe leukaemia, phenomenally septic - if he doesn't get over there very quickly he could have a cardiac arrest."

Ambulance control: "Yeah, we understand that. We don't purposefully hold up."

Dr Lennon: "I know, I realise that."

Ambulance control: "The only thing I can offer is a paramedic in a car to run you over to the ward ... I can pass you over to our supervisor."

Dr Lennon: "If possible please, yeah."

Ambulance control supervisor: "Doctor, I've been listening to the call so I do understand what's happening ... North Staffs A&E are basically trying to hold us to ransom to do their transfers and won't release any crews. I'm going to speak to the bed manager again urgently and then I'll speak to sister in casualty."

Dr Lennon: "I just find this ludicrous ... 99.9% of the things you will have today in 999 ambulances will not be anywhere near as remotely critically unwell as this child."

Control supervisor: "No, and I completely agree with you on that, and that's sad, isn't it? And now you've got the problem. They get held up at the hospital. I mean, one of them's got an eye injury, why can't they release that crew? It's politics and it's not fair on your patients, but I'm going to speak very strongly to the bed manager. I'm sure she can get one of these cleared."


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