Stroke Victim Delay To Be Investigated

Probe Ordered After Death Of Patient Who Lived Next To Hospital


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

An inquiry is to be held into the circumstances in which a man who died two days after a stroke was not picked up by an ambulance for two hours - despite living just a few minutes' walk from the hospital.

Trevor Bryer, a 72-year-old retired police officer, collapsed at his home in Llanelli, which backs onto the site of the Prince Philip Hospital.

However, after his wife Karen dialled 999, the first ambulance that was sent came from Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, about an hour's drive away.

Even this vehicle only arrived after Mrs Bryer had made two more calls, about 25 minutes apart.

She commented: "It was the worst night of my life. But I thought the best thing to do was to let the ambulance crew see him first. But we waited and waited.

"How is it that this ambulance took almost two hours to arrive?"

She said that she would have tried to drag Mr Bryer to the hospital if she had been strong enough to do so.

The Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust has confirmed that an inquiry has started to establish what happened and how a patient who fell ill so close to a hospital could be left waiting so long and not receive a local ambulance.

Director of service delivery Mike Collins said: "We have received a formal concern in relation to this and investigations are under way." He added that it would be "inappropriate" to make any further comment at present.

According to the NHS's own guidance, a stroke requires very swift treatment to minimise its impact.

Because it involves either bleeding in the brain or a blood clot - either of which starve the organ of vital oxygen - the sooner a stroke is treated the better.

That may mean that in the case of Mr Bryer, a swifter transfer to hospital could have saved his life and possibly enabled him to make a good recovery in due course.

Expert Opinion
The key to maximising the chances of recovery for stroke victims is to ensure victims receive treatment as soon as possible as every second can make a difference.

“Hopefully this investigation will provide answers as to what happened and whether more could have been done to get the stroke victim to hospital sooner. At present this investigation is only at an early stage but is important that the NHS learns any lessons that are highlighted by the review once it is complete.

“Just last week the Welsh NHS announced a pilot to try to improve response times and we hope that this makes a difference and helps to save more lives in future.”
Julie Lewis, Partner