Anger at 30 minute wait for ambulance at Stockton

NEWCASTLE Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp has called on the NSW government to investigate why an ambulance took 30 minutes to reach a seriously ill man in Stockton who later died.

On a night in May, the man’s daughter called triple-zero after her father suffered a medical episode and had difficulty breathing.

Paramedics then took 30 minutes to arrive and take the man to the Calvary Mater Hospital. He died two days later.

Mr Crakanthorp said he had met the man’s widow, and called on the government to launch an investigation into the tragedy.

“It’s simply not good enough that New South Wales’ second-largest city can’t find an ambulance in an emergency situation,” he said.

Chief Superintendent Tim Collins, control centre manager for NSW Ambulance’s Northern Control Centre, said the service had reviewed the Stockton incident.

“As a result of that review, we have provided a response to the family,” he said.

“The first available ambulance attended and all procedures and protocols were correctly adhered to.”

Fifteen minutes after the emergency call from Stockton came a second call telling paramedics the patient’s condition had deteriorated. The high number of emergency call-outs that night meant the first available ambulance was half an hour away, Chief Superintendent Collins said.

“NSW Ambulance extends its condolences to the family,” he said.

“Certainly no explanation can resolve their grief over the loss of a husband and father.”