Seaford woman who died after waiting for ambulance was ‘failed’ by system, coroner rules

Daisy Filby, 90, waited for about an hour and 45 minutes for an ambulance as she lay face down, unable to move, at her home in Seaford after a fall, an inquest in Hastings heard.

She died as the result of an ‘accident contributed to by neglect’, senior coroner Alan Craze said on Wednesday.

Her disabled daughter Linda Filby was unable to lift her and kept ringing 999. The first 999 call was made on June 19, 2017, at 8.42, the last call was made at 10.11 and the ambulance arrived at 10.24. Mrs Filby was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived.

“There clearly was a failure to provide basic medical attention,” the coroner said, “It’s a very tragic case indeed.”

Mr Craze added that this was just not the action of one individual commenting: “The problem ultimately is systemic and the heart of it is the call-taking and decision-making system.”

He said it is ‘easy’ for him to see what probably happened – that in a period of austerity, pressure has been ‘huge’ to use available resources as efficiently as possible blaming the programming of a computer to make decisions rather than a properly trained human being.

Mr. Craze summed up that the system used by South East Coast Ambulance service is nationally rolled out system which failed Mrs. Filby and her daughter.