After waiting almost two days for an ambulance Frail pensioner dies in his home

The 65-year-old had fallen at his home, yet an ambulance took over 40 hours to arrive despite his doctor telling 999 workers that his condition was critical and his life was in danger.

After waiting almost two days for an ambulance Frail pensioner dies in his home

Gerard Brown died at his home after a fall and waiting almost two days for an ambulance. 

A pensioner died in his home after waiting almost two days for an ambulance, and with his GP telling 999 workers, his life was at risk.

Gerard Brown (65) fell at his Glasgow home on September 6, but an ambulance didn’t arrive until 40 hours later. He was already dead.

Father-of-3 Mr. Brown was only six stone and had been through cancer treatment. He also suffered from many health issues.

His family claims that he died at home. Paramedics arrived shortly after 3 AM to find his body still warm.

The former engineer fell and couldn’t get up to unlock his Dumbreck front door. He also needed oxygen treatment.

Mr. Brown’s doctor had warned 999 workers that he could die if an ambulance did not come soon.

A concierge gained access to the property and called for an ambulance at 11 am, with Mr. Brown’s family told they faced a ten-hour wait.

The crisis was branded “third world” by his GP, Dr. Patrick O’Neill, who had intervened to urge it to be prioritized.

It is believed that the ambulance arrived at Brown’s house at 3 am on September 8th, between 41 and 44 hours after the first call.

Although the grandfather-of-9 had been accompanied by his ex-wife and one of his sons at the time, he was left alone on the couch when he died.

The case has been referred to the Procurator Fiscal and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, with the Scottish Ambulance Service promising to “learn” from the tragedy.

Heartbroken son Dylan said: “They pronounced that he was only just dead because he still had warmth in his body.

“In this day and age, it should not be happening.

Mr. Brown’s son Dylan said it is “shocking” to be told that if an ambulance had come sooner, then he could still be alive.

“I know with Covid people are busy, and the NHS is struggling, but that’s unacceptable, and we don’t want it happening to another family.

“The worst thing about it is that Dr. O’Neill said to me, ‘Dylan, I can assure you that if they’d got to him, your dad would still be here.

“That’s the hardest part to accept.”

He added: “When people are telling you that person would have survived, the impact is shocking. There needs to be accountability for the decision.

“I’m not hoping for answers, and I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to someone else. That would have been a great thing for my dad.”

Dylan said that his partner had gone round to the house and discovered Mr. Brown in trouble.

“My partner went up to drop off some messages, she was communicating through the letterbox, and he was saying he couldn’t get up and get to the door,” he said.

“The concierge managed to get a joiner who came out and got the door open. The concierge assisted dad in getting onto the sofa. He had suffered some injuries from his fall.

“My mom was there with him for a while, so she called his GP. She advised that he call the ambulance and inform them of his critical condition.

“My brother was up there Tuesday night saying ‘he doesn’t look good.”

He said: “My brother was the last to be up there; he went to help dad get comfortable. Dad ended up sleeping on the couch, and it was impossible to get him comfortable because he was so fragile.

“My brother left him at about midnight on Tuesday – dad said he felt cold, so my mum said she’d bring him some blankets. He told his brother to relax and try to sleep but that he would see him tomorrow. The door was open for paramedics.”

Dr. O’Neill said he was first made aware of Mr. Brown’s condition by his ex-wife on Monday morning after she telephoned the practice to let them know that the family was waiting for an ambulance.

He said: “Then at 9 am on Tuesday we get a phone call from his ex-wife to say ‘listen, he’s still in the house.

“I was like, ‘you are kidding me?’.

“I got on the phone to the ambulance service at 9.15 am, and I said ‘this man is going to be found dead’ – and I used that language because I knew the situation he was in.

“It’s happening across the board, and it’s not their fault – it’s shortages – but you assume when you put in a 999 call that these people are going to be picked up.”

In a statement, the Crown Office confirmed that the Procurator Fiscal had received a report “In connection with the September 8th, 2021 death of a 65-year-old man in Glasgow.

It added: “The investigation into the death, under the direction of Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU), is ongoing, and the family will continue to be kept updated concerning any significant developments.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) said: “We have started an investigation into the circumstances relating to the delay in reaching Mr. Brown and will be in contact with Mr. Brown’s family directly to apologize for the delay in response and pass on our sincere condolences.

“We are sorry for their loss, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

“All findings and lessons learned will be shared with Mr. Brown’s family as part of the investigation process.”

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