Response to the inquest verdict into the death of Thomas Inglis

7 February 2011

To be attributed Jason Killens, Deputy Director of Operations:          

“We are extremely sorry that Thomas suffered such a significant injury when he was being taken to hospital by our staff, and we hope that the inquest has helped his family to understand what happened on that night.

“We have looked into this incident to identify what we can do so that something like this does not happen again, and we will consider the report that the coroner is making to the Department of Health following this inquest.

“We believe it was right for our crew to persuade Thomas to go to hospital based on the extent of his initial injuries. And on this occasion, taking account of Thomas’ injuries, we believe our staff did the right thing to convey him even though he would not wear a seat belt.

“In view of the coroner’s findings, we will reinforce the message to our staff that they should make every effort to persuade patients to use a seat belt when they are travelling in an ambulance; however, if patients refuse, our current policy is that the crew can continue to convey them if it is in their best interest to receive hospital treatment.

“We are exploring how the locking system within our ambulances could be designed so that doors cannot be opened while the vehicle is moving. In doing so, we are conscious that we need to consider any risks that may arise.

“We recently carried out a further investigation into what happened on the night that we took Thomas to hospital. We have considered how we handled the original investigation with a view to learning any further lessons in light of changes to our investigation processes in the last few years. We have asked two independent organisations – South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Action against Medical Accidents to comment on the report. Once our report is complete we will be sharing the findings with Mr Inglis’ family”.

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

  • For further information please contact London Ambulance Service communications department on 020 7783 2286.

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