Yorkshire Ambulance Service reach settlement with family of man who died after 999 delays

Anthony Offord
Anthony Offord
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Yorkshire Ambulance Service has reached a settlement with the family of a man who may have survived if paramedics had reached him sooner.

Anthony Offord, 35, who lived in supported accommodation, collapsed at a friend’s flat in Sheffield in April 2013.

But he had to wait 22 minutes for a double-crewed ambulance to arrive at Harcourt Road, Crookesmoor.

Mr Offord died at the Northern General Hospital two days later.

Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith told Parliament the Yorkshire Ambulance Service has now agreed a settlement with Mr Offord’s family.

Ms Smith said: “His death was referred to ministers because of a concern that Mr Offord might have survived if he’d received medical help sooner. Yorkshire Ambulance Service has just settled the case out of court.”

She said there is a ‘growing crisis’ in staffing ambulance services.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said an extra £1.6m had been provided locally to help the ambulance service deal with winter pressures, while there has been a national increase in paramedic numbers.

He added: “None of that is any consolation to the family that you talk about. We must always make sure every lesson is learnt.”

Mr Offord had been drinking as well as taking prescribed medication. He had also taken a small amount of heroin.

He died two days later from a brain injury.

A report by coroner Christopher Dorries sent to Mr Hunt said: “The lone responder attending, who arrived nearby very quickly, felt the need to stand off until support was available on the grounds of personal safety. The double-crewed vehicle nominated to back up the lone responder was some distance away.

“There was a failure to consider other methods of support for the lone paramedic but it cannot be said on the balance of probabilities that Mr Offord would have survived if any of the opportunities for alternative support had been taken.”