St Pancras Coroners Court has this week heard how Lisa Day, aged 27 and a type one diabetic, fell seriously ill on 7th September. The Coroner found that if she had been taken to hospital sooner, her life could have been saved.

Miss Day, from Saffron Walden in Essex, was with her friend when she fell ill. He called the NHS 111 service at 5pm, but by 10pm, the ambulance had still not turned up. During this time, Miss Day’s condition seriously deteriorated and she was found in bed, having had a heart attack. Miss Day sadly passed away in hospital 5 days later as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain, caused by ketoacidosis and complications that had arisen from her diabetes.

At the Inquest, the Court heard that Miss Day’s initial call had been logged as code DX012, meaning that an ambulance should have been with her within 30 minutes. The London Ambulance Service stated during the course of the Inquest that they had been struggling to cope with “extreme demand” at the time.

Coroner Mary Hassell delivered a narrative verdict and stated that “the reason for the approximate four and a half hour delay in an ambulance attending was because demand was outstripped by capacity. If Lisa had received definitive hospital care before she suffered a cardiac arrest, the likelihood is that she would have survived”.

Miss Day’s brother in law stated on behalf of the family, that “had even a First Responder been in attendance with basic resuscitation equipment, even in half the time it took for them to arrive, her chances of survival would have increased hugely as they would have had a greater chance of keeping the brain stem alive by the delivery of oxygen”.

This experience has been extremely traumatic for the friends and family of Miss Day, and there are many questions which remain to be answered in respect of the adequacy of the training of the paramedics who attended. Both the NHS 111 Helpline and the London Ambulance Service have carried out their own investigations and the outcome of the same is currently awaited. The family will inevitably and rightfully so, explore a civil claim for negligence as a result of the actions of the Ambulance Service and NHS 111 following the verdict delivered by Coroner Mary Hassell.

Here at Farleys, our specialist solicitors will do everything in our power to assist you at this extremely difficult time and to ensure the Inquest delivers the answers you require, which may go some way to assisting you in dealing with your grief. Please contact us if you require further legal from our experienced Inquest department on 0333 331 4127 or alternatively you can email us.