Stroke-man died after hour-long wait for ambulance

Image caption,
Ron Gibson died in hospital surrounded by his family

A great-grandfather who died after suffering a stroke had to wait 76 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

Ron Gibson's daughters said it felt "like forever" as they sat holding their 78-year-old father at his house in Withington, Greater Manchester.

He died two days later at Salford Royal after suffering a bleed on the brain.

The hospital and the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have begun separate investigations.

Mr Gibson, who had 22 grandchildren and five great grandchildren, had been lying on the sofa when his daughter Deborah noticed that he was gurgling.

"I asked him if he was OK and he didn't respond, with the sounds he was making I knew something was wrong so I immediately phoned for an ambulance," she said.

Ms Gibson then phoned her sister Margaret Richardson, who left her pet shop in Mauldeth Road, about a mile away, and arrived within six minutes.

"A paramedic car arrived about 15 minutes later, but the paramedic couldn't administer the drugs he needed without a brain scan first," Ms Gibson said.

"It was absolutely horrible, the paramedic tried to do all he could but we needed that ambulance," Mrs Richardson said.

"We were told that they were extremely busy, but my father was dying."

They said the vital medication he had needed had been administered too late. There is a limit of three hours after a patient suffers a stroke.

By the time Mr Gibson had been given a brain scan on 9 December, there was only 10 minutes left before the deadline and there was not enough time for it to enter his system.

'Rarely poorly'

"My dad died with his family around him at the hospital, but we had to wait in the room for an hour-and-a-half without anyone coming to see how he was," Mrs Richardson said.

The volunteer water bailiff and retired tipper driver had rarely been poorly, she added.

NWAS said the day Mr Gibson fell ill had been "exceptionally busy" and it would like to offer its "sincere condolences to the family".

A spokesman added: "Due to the high demand caused by the number of road traffic collisions, a major incident was declared.

"This meant that ambulance resources were stretched to full capacity."

In the past week NWAS said it had responded to 19,328 emergency 999 incidents, with more than 8,000 of those categorised as life threatening - a record high for the service.

Salford Royal Hospital said that once it had received a complaint from the Gibson family it would "carry out a full investigation".

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