Father-Of-Three Dies After 75-Minute Ambulance Delay

Medical Negligence Experts Instructed To Investigate Failings


An inquest heard that a father-of-three died from a heart attack just before his 25th wedding anniversary, after it took an ambulance 75 MINUTES to respond to a 999 call at his family home.

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are representing the family of Jeff Corbin, from Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, who had been suffering from chest pain and shortness of breath for several weeks, including moments when he was gasping for breath, building up to the incident in April 2014.

And the delay in the ambulance attending came just a day after he had suffered similar problems and again dialled 999, only for the paramedics who arrived that time to tell him he was having a panic attack and he wasn’t taken to hospital

On the fateful day in April last year, his family made an emergency call to West Midlands Ambulance Service early in the morning but, by the time the paramedics arrived 75 minutes later, he had suffered a fatal heart attack and he died when he arrived at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

An inquest into his death held yesterday (3rd March) at Stoke-on-Trent Coroner’s court; HM Coroner Ian Smith recorded a verdict of natural causes. He commented that paramedics who attended the family home on the 19th April made the wrong decision in not sending Jeff to hospital to be examined. He also said he would be writing to the West Midlands Ambulance service with his comments and recommendations

Dr Mark Gunning, expert cardiologist who gave evidence at the inquest today, told the Coroner that had Jeff have been taken to hospital by the paramedics who attended on Saturday morning there was a 95% likelihood of survival after 30 days. Had the paramedics have attended sooner on the Sunday morning there was above 50% chance that Jeff would have survived.

Kathryn Corbin gave evidence at the hearing today after she called an ambulance to the family home the day before Jeff died as he was suffering from chest pain and shortness of breath. She told the Coroner that they Jeff was asked if he wanted to go into hospital, he said no. However, the paramedics at no time said there was any urgency and they told Jeff that if he did want to go then he would be waiting for 6 or 7 hours. They said that it was fine for Jeff to see his GP after the Easter weekend, because he had only suffered from a panic attack. Kathryn told the Coroner that had they have been told by the paramedics that Jeff needed to go to hospital then he absolutely would have gone.

Rebecca Risby, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Jeff’s family are utterly heartbroken wondering whether if an emergency response team had arrived sooner, he could have been given the crucial treatment he needed and could have survived.

“Jeff’s family could see that he was struggling so called an ambulance as he needed help urgently. The paramedics eventually arrived 75 minutes at the family home after the call but Jeff was now in a critical condition. They tried to resuscitate him and then took him to the nearest hospital he had already passed away.

“We will continue to work with the family to help them find answers as to the circumstances leading up to Jeff’s death.”

Commenting after the inquest, Kathryn 53, said: “My children and I have been left completely devastated after losing Jeff – last year we should have celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. He was the heart of our family, a loving dad and husband and losing him has left an irreparable hole in our lives.

“We can only agonise over the fact that if the ambulance had responded quicker to our emergency call, instead of taking over an hour to get to us, Jeff may still be with us. When they arrived it was too late..

“We would like to thank the Coroner for taking the time to do a thorough investigation for us into Jeff’s death. Even though we have not yet got all the answers we are looking for the inquest has gone some way to help us try and come to terms with what has happened.”