TWO Northumberland patients died last year after delays by the medical services, a report has revealed.

One incident involved a patient who had chest pain and collapsed, with an ambulance taking 43 minutes to arrive because the address was inputted incorrectly into the system.

The patient was dead when the crew arrived, but the report said “there is no conclusive evidence to indicate whether the delay directly contributed to the death of this patient”.

The other incident saw a patient have a cardiac arrest and die in the A&E department after a treatment delay of just over four hours, with his notes having been placed in the wrong priority queue.

However, the report stated: “It is not clear whether an earlier diagnosis would have altered the outcome”.

The new patient impact report was presented to the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body meeting on Wednesday, September 25.

As well as reporting the two “serious incidents”, the report said that between 2018-19, 12,547 Northumberland patients were not treated within the required standard of seven minutes, including 1,215 in category one (an immediate response to a life-threatening condition).

In the first quarter of this financial year, there were 4,063 Northumberland patients who were not treated within the required standard.

Last year, 12 patients experienced handover delays of more than two hours when arriving at the Northumbria Hospital in Cramlington by ambulance, all of which were during the winter. The report said there was ‘no detriment to all of the affected patients’.

A total of 6,061 patients were not treated or admitted within the targeted four hours of arrival at A&E during 2018-19, with only one serious incident.

Jeremy Rushmer from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We take events like this very seriously and always make sure we are open with colleagues, carers and patients alike, so that we can learn from them.

“We are proud of our staff and the attitude they take in reporting errors and then working to ensure we improve.

“We have already undertaken a full investigation into these events and have taken steps to prevent a re-occurrence.

“We are very sorry for what happened and the impact that has had on those involved.”