Tayside and Central Scotland

Ambulance trainee suspended over baby death call

A trainee ambulance technician has been suspended in an investigation into a delayed response to help a sick baby.

The technician did not respond to the 999 call in the Forth Valley on 3 January because her partner was absent.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said time was wasted when BT transferred the emergency call to a centre in England.

But a spokesman for the service said an ambulance was at the scene within seven minutes of the Edinburgh dispatch centre receiving the call.

Ambulance technicians are members of the accident and emergency crew, who work alongside paramedics to give care at the scene and get patients to hospital as soon as possible.

Two ambulances were sent to the incident but the baby did not survive. It is understood to be a cot death.

Full investigation

The spokesman said the investigation would focus on why the call was initially routed to England and the "overall response".

"As well as the two local ambulances, a trainee technician was asked to respond, however, due to the absence of their partner, [the technician] was a single resource at the time," he said.

"A member of staff has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation and full clinical review."

The spokesman added the ambulance service sent its "deepest sympathies" to the family.

BT said they were "very concerned" when they learnt about the events and had reviewed what had happened.

A spokesman said the company's processes had worked "as they should".

He added: "It is understood the ambulance service had some problems due to inaccurate address information that had been provided to the 999 service by another telecommunications provider.

"For legal reasons and because an investigation is going on, we cannot give more details at present."

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