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West Midlands Ambulance Service Walsall Healthcare Trust

Paramedic sacked after hospital A&E death


A paramedic has been sacked and another has resigned following the death of a man who collapsed outside a Midlands hospital A&E department.

Eleven NHS staff were suspended, four from West Midlands Ambulance Service and seven from Walsall Healthcare Trust, after 47-year-old Carl Cope collapsed outside Walsall Manor Hospital on 23 June.

It was claimed hospital and ambulance staff took no action to help Mr Cope while other staff and members of the public walked past him as he lay on the ground.

Mr Cope is believed to have dialled 999 complaining of chest pains and had been handed over by a paramedics to the hospital’s accident and emergency department.

He had not been discharged when he went outside the hospital. A post mortem found he died of a heart attack.

Following an investigation, West Midlands Ambulance Service told Nursing Times it had held disciplinary panels for the four ambulance workers involved.

The ambulance trust said one paramedic had been dismissed while a second resigned just before the conclusion of the investigation.

An emergency medical technician has also received a final written warning along with an emergency care assistant, the trust said.

All four workers will now face an investigation by the Health Professions Council and could be prevented from working.

Walsall Healthcare Trust and West Midlands Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr Cope’s death.

John Hawker, a spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “It should be noted that all disciplinary action that has taken place is still subject to appeal.

“The trust has also reported the incident to the Health Professions Council (HPC) which is the governing body of paramedics.”

He added: “The trust will do everything necessary to maintain the high standards of care that our staff and the organisation provide to patients.

“Where issues arise, robust action will be taken to ascertain what lessons can be learnt and any appropriate action taken.

“A police investigation is currently on going with regards to this incident and the trust will assist them fully with their enquiries.”

An inquest into the death has been opened and adjourned by Black Country coroner Robin Balmain.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Huh??? I know in cases like this it will be impossible to get the full story here, but from the limited information we do have, it seems the man was in A&E and walked out of his own volition- without being discharged - and THEN collapsed?And other members of the public and staff walked past him? Am I missing something, why are paramedics being disciplined? Or is this the usual heavy handed witch hunt instigated by trusts to absolve themselves of any blame?

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  • what I gleaned from this and another report some time ago, possibly in DT was the man, it says above, was delivered to A&E. He went outside to get some air before he collapsed outside. the rest of the story is as above and the subject of investigation.

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  • Have the results of the action against the hospital staff been concluded?

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