Man was ‘failed’ by paramedic

The North East Ambulance service (NEAS) ‘failed’ in its care of a man suffering from a heart attack, an inquest heard.

Grahame Percy Giles, 61, of Warkworth, died in March 2008, after suffering a heart attack.

But his wife Marion, now 66, and family did not find out until 2011 that paramedic Brian Jewers, who treated Mr Giles, had been struck off by the Health Professionals Council (HPC) for failing to give a potentially life-saving drug.

At last week’s inquest, north Northumberland coroner Tony Brown heard that Brian Jewers also failed to defibrillate Mr Giles when he went into cardiac arrest and failed to insert a tube into his airway.

In summing up the evidence, Mr Brown said: “There was a clear missed opportunity to provide suitable medical care for Mr Giles and this was recognised by the HPC.”

He added: “This failure in care was also a failure in the care provided by the North East Ambulance Service.”

The court also heard that while the drug may have helped Mr Giles, he had severe heart disease which could not be reversed.

During the hearing, Mrs Giles said: “The hardest thing is not knowing why he didn’t do it and that hasn’t come out.”

Alan Gallagher, NEAS head of risk and claims, said the service has taken steps to make sure that the families of patients in incidents like this are informed as soon as possible.

He added that there have also been changes which encourage staff to be more open about their concerns within the service.

Speaking after Mr Brown recorded a narrative verdict, Mrs Giles said: “Hopefully this will bring an end to a very difficult period for my family and I hope we can now put these painful events behind us and move on with our lives.

“Nothing is going to bring my husband back but what I wanted more than anything was the assurances that nothing like this can happen again to another family and I sincerely hope this is the case.

“I should have been told what had happened to my husband at the start.”

She added: “We were just getting over his death when we were told that perhaps he could have lived if this paramedic had done his job properly.”