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'Systemic' failings with 999 call-handling service criticised

A woman who died after waiting almost two hours for an ambulance was let down by "systemic" failings with a computer call-handling system, a coroner said.

Daisy Filby, 90, was one of three people who died after delays in receiving care from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb). Coroner Alan Craze said a human would have "realised what was going on" and prioritised the calls differently. 

Mrs Filby, from Seaford, died in June 2017 as a result of an "accident contributed to by neglect," Mr Craze concluded at the Hasting's Coroner's Court inquest. "If an ambulance or anybody with or without medical knowledge had been able to reach this poor lady before her death, the situation would have been different," he added.

Mr Craze said: "The problem is not the actions of any one individual in Secamb Trust. The problem is ultimately systemic and at the heart of the call-taking and decision-making system."

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: "We are very sorry for the service they received. We have listened very closely to the coroner throughout and we are committed to making further improvements where necessary."

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Source: BBC News, 18 September 2019


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