Verdict recorded five years after man’s death

A coroner has recorded a narrative verdict after an inquest into the death, five years ago, of a Warkworth man.

Grahame Percy Giles, 61, died on March 20, 2008, after suffering a heart attack.

But his family and north Northumberland coroner Tony Brown only found out in 2011 that after his death paramedic, Brian Jewers, was struck off by the Health Professions Council (HPC) for a catalogue of failures relating to Mr Giles and another patient’s care.

Recording his verdict Mr Brown said: “On March 20, 2008, Grahame Percy Giles was at Alnwick when he experienced chest pain.

“An ambulance was called and Mr Giles was taken to hospital.

“On route to the hospital, a paramedic who was attending him did not administer thrombolytic drugs when advised to do so by a doctor over the telephone and did not administer shocks when Mr Giles’ heart was in ventricular fibrillation, which is a shockable rhythm.

“When Mr Giles arrived in A and E, he had a cardiac arrest and attempts at resuscitation were not successful with death being pronounced at 10.30am on March 20, 2008.”

Giving evidence Mark Willis, head of clinical education and development at the North East Ambulance Trust, said that Mr Jewers failed to complete training in administering the drug despite being asked to do so numerous times. But he added that while he would not have been able to give the injection autonomously, he could if given authorisation by a doctor.

It was also heard that Brian Jewers failed to defibrillate and intubate Mr Giles.

Because of the failures in this and a previous incident, an inquiry was held and Brian Jewers, from Shilbottle, was struck off.

But Mr Giles’s family were not informed until they were approached by the press during an investigation.

At the hearing representatives from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) said that new measures have been put in place to prevent incidents of this nature happening again.

Alan Gallagher, head of risk and claims at the NEAS, said: “I would like to give my firm apologies to HM Coroner and Mrs Giles for our failures.”

Speaking afterwars Mrs Giles said: “Nothing is going to bring my husband back but what I wanted more than anything from today was reassurance that nothing like this can happen again to another family and I sincerely hope this is the case.”