George Verrier death: Ambulance no-show months after coroner warns ‘overstretched service’ puts lives at risk (From News Shopper)
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George Verrier death: Ambulance no-show months after coroner warns ‘overstretched service’ puts lives at risk
AN INVESTIGATION is under way after London Ambulance Service has admitted it was called to help fatally injured teenager George Verrier on Sunday morning but did not turn up.
This confession comes just months after coroner Dr Roy Palmer warned Bromley lives were at risk due to an overstretched ambulance service.
His comments came when presiding over the case of a woman who died in a house fire in St Mary Cray after an ambulance did not turn up.
On Sunday morning (September 1) police asked for paramedics to attend the scene of a mass brawl in Southborough Road at the junction of Blenheim Road, Bromley, to treat 17-year-old George.
But despite receiving the call at 1.01am an ambulance was not sent because the LAS was unable to respond.
No LAS staff attended the scene to treat the former Ravensbourne School pupil and the call was cancelled at 2.20am.
Instead George made his way to a friend’s house in Ferndale where he was found unconscious at 9.30am that morning.
He was airlifted to an east London hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6.11pm on Sunday evening.
Talking to the Daily Mail, George’s relative Lesley Herron said his family are ‘living a nightmare’.
Speaking at his great-aunt's house, the 58-year-old said: ‘We feel he could have been saved.
“We don't know the facts yet, but we feel he could have been saved.
“We want answers. The family wants answers. We just want to know if he could have been saved.
“If we find that he could have survived and we could have had the chance to see him married with children, that would be awful. But we don't know what is to be.
“I don't know how we will cope. It will add to our burden of grief.”
Paying tribute to ‘gorgeous George’, Miss Herron said his family are paralysed with grief.
She said: “It is crazy, we are living in a nightmare, the whole family is having a nightmare but we know we are not going to wake up.
“He was a precious boy, precious to the family. There are no words to describe what his father has lost. He was his only son.”
The Met Police has launched an internal inquiry and London Ambulance Service is looking into what happened.
A LAS spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we were called to reports of an assault in Blenheim Road at 1.01am on Sunday morning.
“The patient was reported to have been fully conscious, but we were unable to respond at that time and were subsequently cancelled at around 2.20am, and before we had been able to attend the scene.
“We are now looking into the circumstances of what happened.”
Crystal Palace supporter George had been at a party to celebrate his friend Madison Moran’s 16th birthday at her home in Blenheim Road before the fight started in the street.
He had two older sisters.
‘Lives are at risk’
Earlier this year south London coroner Dr Palmer wrote to Ann Radmore, the chief executive of the London Ambulance Service, heavily criticising the service in the case of a woman who died in a house fire (pictured below).
Yvonne Fisher took an overdose of co-codamol at her flat in Ranmore Path, St Mary Cray, at around 9pm on July 21 last year before calling for an ambulance.
However the ambulance did not arrive until 10.52pm - by which time a deadly fire was raging - thought to have been started by a cigarette.
In the mean time, police had been forced to call again for an ambulance - but the dispatch of paramedics was cancelled by the system.
The 45-year-old sadly died in the fire, leading Dr Palmer to write to the chief executive.
He wrote: "On the basis of the evidence I heard and on the balance of probability, Ms Fisher would have survived had the ambulance crew been able to attend within 30 minutes or indeed at any point before the fire broke out.
"I understand this situation remains unchanged today and accordingly the local population, for which I have some responsibility, continues to be at risk of a repetition of the events about which I write to you."
Ms Radmore replied to the coroner, in April this year, two months after receiving his letter, saying the "root cause" of the situation was "demand exceeding capacity."
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