Burnley death gran: fury over ambulance times

Jacqueline Stewart
Jacqueline Stewart

The devastated family of a Burnley grandmother claim she was left dying outside her home for nearly an hour before she was taken to hospital.

And they have have slammed the ambulance service’s response time.

Jacqueline Stewart (53) collapsed after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest on the doorstep of her Briercliffe Road home which is just several hundred yards from Burnley General Hospital.

Her son-in-law made brave attempts to revive her but the family claim they waited nearly 60 minutes before an ambulance took her to hospital in Blackburn on Thursday last week.

But the North West Ambulance Service said paramedics arrived in 15 minutes and an ambulance arrived 10 minutes later. But the family have demanded answers and believe Mrs Stewart’s life could have been saved.

Husband Phil said: “We cannot get over this loss. If she had just died we could have accepted it if we thought they had done everything they could.

“But they didn’t even try. The paramedic did no CPR at all.

“They did not offer any explanation to us about why it took so long for the ambulance to come.

“She did actually die in Burnley but they said she died in Blackburn. Now we want to ask some serious questions.”

Mrs Stewart collapsed on her doorstep at 5-42pm on Thursday as she telephoned her husband.

Her last words to Phil were “I’m dying. I’m dying” before the line went dead and frantic 999 calls were made to the ambulance service just minutes later.

Son-in-law Aaron arrived moments later and bravely performed emergency CPR to try to revive Mrs Stewart.

The family claim it was 25 minutes before a first paramedic got to the scene.

But they claim the paramedic did not take over emergency CPR and just told Aaron to “carry on.” A community first responder, who was passing, came and helped administer CPR along with Aaron, they said.

The family said it was almost an hour before the ambulance arrived to take Mrs Stewart to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Son Kevin said: “There were seven people ringing the ambulance. My dad was in Manchester when it happened and he got to my mum before the ambulance did.

“Burnley General Hospital is just 200 yards away and there is an ambulance station just up the road in Burnley.

“It is not right. The pain we are feeling at the moment I would not want anybody else to go through.”

But a spokesman for the North-West Ambulance Service said: “We got a call at 17-44pm to Wilton Street in Burnley.

“The rapid response vehicle arrived at 18-00pm and the CFR arrived at 18-01pm.

“The ambulance arrived at 18-11pm and the patient was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

“It left the scene at 18-34pm.”

Phil and children Emma (34), Kevin (32) and Samantha (28) paid glowing tributes to Mrs Stewart who was described as big-hearted, kind and devoted to her family.

Phil, who was married for 35 years, said: “She was the best woman in the world. She lived for her family.”

Samantha said: “She was warm, bubbly and you could have a laugh and a joke with her. She loved her family and her grandchildren.”

Kevin added: “She was so generous. She would give you anything even if it meant her going without. She had the biggest heart. It is such a huge loss to our family.”