According to official reports, an unnamed 70-year-old South East London resident died after emergency services took almost 70 minutes to respond to his initial 999 call. 

The pensioner allegedly called 999 but did not receive any medical support until his daughters—going under the pseudonyms Emma and Jane—found their father unconscious in his home.

Upon arrival, Emma and Jane made numerous 999 calls. According to The Metro, they were told an ambulance would arrive in “41 minutes of the first call”, but services failed to meet their target arrival time. After an hour of waiting, Emma’s father went unconscious, causing her to perform CPR on her father until the ambulance arrived around 70 minutes later.

Speaking about the traumatic ordeal, Jane said: “His last words to Emma were that ‘this is the most excruciating pain I’ve ever had’ and she now has to live with that.” Jane added that “no one else goes through this trauma”, and that she hopes her father’s tragedy can promote awareness to prevent occurrences like this from happening again. 

According to stats, ambulances in the UK typically arrive within 18 minutes when responding to Category 2 calls, which encompass burns, strokes and epilepsy. Reports indicate wait times are on the rise, though. Emergency targets are meant to deal with most calls within 41 minutes, however last month, the average response time rose to almost 54 minutes. 

Responding to the tragedy, a London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the patient’s family and friends during this difficult time, and we send them our deepest condolences. We are looking into how we responded to the patient and would encourage the family to reach out to our patient experiences team so we can support them in reviewing what happened.”