Ambulance cover call after tragedy

A MOTHER who believes her son died partly because an ambulance failed to turn up until almost 30 minutes after a motorbike crash has taken her case to Downing Street.

A MOTHER who believes her son died partly because an ambulance failed to turn up until almost 30 minutes after a motorbike crash has taken her case to Downing Street.

Ann Sefton, 52, a former ambulance driver, said she no longer respects the service she once loved.

Yesterday, she marched on 10 Downing Street with Chelmsford West MP Simon Burns to deliver a 5,641-name petition that calls for greater ambulance cover in Essex's county town.

In May last year, she watched helplessly as her only son Tony, 32, lay dying in the road after his motorbike smashed into a kerb in Chelmsford.


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She said that from the time of the first 999 call at the scene of the accident in Gloucester Avenue, it was almost an hour before her son arrived at Broomfield Hospital, about five miles away.

Both ambulances at the town's only station in Coval Lane were on other calls that afternoon and although a rapid response vehicle and paramedic reached the scene within seven minutes of the call, it was a further 19 minutes before another ambulance from Maldon station arrived.

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Mr Sefton, a father-of-three and a former stunt rider with the famous Honda Imps, died the next day.

Yesterday, Mrs Sefton, a former London ambulance driver, said she had been devastated to discover the lack of cover in her home town.

After handing in the petition to Downing Street, she said would not rest until she had secured guarantees that extra resources would be ploughed into the emergency service.

She said: "It's now a service which I respected and loved, but no longer.

"I'm the human face of all this business about resources, I'm the parent who's lost a child – people need to remember that.

"The NHS feels it's OK to invest £120 million into a Broomfield Hospital facelift, but if it's a facelift versus a human life, I know what I and most other people would choose."

She added: "I and three children have been totally destroyed – Tony was our best mate and he deserved better. I'm not going to let this issue just go away, the politicians better be aware of that."

Simon Burns said he was giving Mrs Sefton's cause his full backing. "What happened to her son was a tragedy.

"It's important that we have a first class ambulance service that matches the needs of the local population."

The MP added that he would seek a ministerial response to the petition and that ultimately he would be prepared to call an adjournment debate in the House of Commons if that was needed.

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