Grandfather, 74, died at home after waiting 16 hours for an ambulance, inquest hears
- Joseph Edge was left lying for hours after his wife Carole dialled 999 at 1.15pm
- Ambulance didn’t arrive until 5.15am after Mrs Edge called and said he had died
- Home Office pathologist Dr Brian Rogers said: ‘A prompter response from the ambulance service may have led to a different outcome but I can’t be certain’
A grandfather was left to die at home after waiting 16 hours for an ambulance to arrive, an inquest heard.
Joseph Edge, 74, was left lying for hours at his home in Llandegla, North Wales, after his wife Carole dialled 999 at 1.15pm when she became worried about his health.
A paramedic didn’t arrive at their home until 5.15am the next day – and it was too late.
An inquest in Ruthin heard Mr Edge died of natural causes but a ‘prompter response’ from emergency service could have saved him.
The hearing was told that retired plumber and mechanic Mr Edge had fallen the day before at his home and suffered a cut to his head.
Joseph Edge (pictured), 74, was left lying for hours at his home in Llandegla, North Wales, after his wife Carole dialled 999 at 1.15pm when she became worried about his health
Mrs Edge called for an ambulance at 1.15pm and was told four hours later that they had ‘moved him up the list to urgent but were still very busy’.
In a statement, she said: ‘The last call I received was around 3.15am. Anticipating the arrival on ambulance at 5:15am, I went upstairs and found my husband cold and unresponsive.
‘I phoned 999 again and a paramedic arrived within half an hour. I am very upset and annoyed about what happened.’
Dr Brian Rodgers, a Home Office pathologist, said Mr Edge ‘could have died at any time’.
He added: ‘A prompter response from the ambulance service may have led to a different outcome but I can’t be certain.’
The hearing was told Mr Edge’s case had been miscategorised by the call handler.
A paramedic didn’t arrive at their home until 5.15am the next day – and it was too late. Stock picture
Gill Pleming, a Welsh Ambulance Service manager, said: ‘Even if he had been correctly categorised, he would have been treated the same with priority but he would have received a clinical telephone assessment.’
Claire Roche, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s executive director of quality and nursing, said: ‘We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr Edge’s family at what we know will be a sad and difficult time.
‘We acknowledge the coroner’s conclusions and sincerely apologise to Mr Edge’s family for what we agree was an unacceptable delay.
‘We are an organisation committed to learning and will continue to work with the health board to improve our timeliness to respond to people when they need us.’
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