Family to take action over Burnley mum’s death

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The family of a Burnley woman who collapsed and died in the street are to take action against the North West Ambulance Service and the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Relatives of Mrs Jacqueline Stewart claimed there were alleged discrepancies in records showing response times to 999 calls.

An inquest heard yesterday (Tuesday) that Mrs Stewart (53) died in October after collapsing outside her home in Briercliffe Road.

Pathologist Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud said tests revealed traces of food in her larynx and traces of medication that were slightly above therapeutic levels. He gave the cause of death as aspiration of gastric contents.

The family said they and people living nearby made nine 999 calls in the space of a few minutes between 5-45pm and 6pm on October 17th but the first rapid response vehicle did not arrive until around 6-15pm and the ambulance around 10 minutes later.

These times were different from official records presented to the inquest by ambulance service manager Peter Dutton, which showed the RRV receiving a call at 5-48pm and arriving 11 minutes later, with an ambulance arriving at 6-11pm.

After the hearing, Mrs Stewart’s daughter, Emma, a staff nurse at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, said the family were concerned over the discrepancies in the timings heard at the inquest.

She said: “I might be a few minutes out in my timing but I made a call at 6-09pm and the RRV had not arrived then.” She also questioned why her mother was given CPR at the scene when she believes reports suggested the ambulance crew knew she was dead.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor said there was no way Mrs Stewart would have known the extra medication she had taken would lead to the loss of her life.

He said the disputed times had not had a bearing on Mrs Stewart’s death as she had died within a short time of collapsing.

He recorded a verdict of misadventure.