Paramedic facing misconduct hearing

A PARAMEDIC accused of “completely unacceptable” behaviour after he allegedly failed to carry out resuscitation on a dying youngster is to face a misconduct hearing next week.

James Hore

A PARAMEDIC accused of “completely unacceptable” behaviour after he allegedly failed to carry out resuscitation on a dying youngster is to face a misconduct hearing next week.

Alan MacFarlane was one of two East of England Ambulance Service personnel sent to the Colchester home of cerebral palsy sufferer Harry Sherman.

The eight-year-old had been struggling with a chest infection and vomiting which caused him breathing problems and his family called 999.


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Marlon Sherman was giving his son the kiss of life but when the ambulance arrived he said he was left to carry out the resuscitation.

It is alleged Mr MacFarlane drove the ambulance - which was not his role - instead of carrying out vital first aid for little Harry.

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The ambulance took the youngster to Colchester General Hospital where staff battled in vain to revive him and he was pronounced dead on April 19 last year.

Mr Sherman and Harry's mother, Alison Day, launched a formal complaint against the pair who no longer work for the ambulance service.

Mr MacFarlane is due to appear before a Health Professions Council (HPC) “fitness to practice” hearing next week accused of a string of failings, including;

n That he should not have been the driver of the ambulance to the hospital.

n He did not take over CPR and allowed Mr Sherman to continue until arrival at the hospital.

n Was “rude and sarcastic” towards Harry's family and demonstrated a “lack of concern”.

n Decided on a plan of action prior to arrival and did not change when the patient's situation became clearer.

n Not taking the lead clinical role as expected of a senior paramedic.

n Not carrying out a clinical risk assessment or airway management

n Not startinig a course of basic life support or advanced life support

Speaking after Harry died, his parents said they believed they had been “cheated out of precious years” with their son.

Mr Sherman said: “If we felt they had done all they could and Harry died then we would have been thankful but we don't believe they did.

“The family feel a lot of anger and disappointment. We are broken. I go to the cemetery every day and sit with my son.”

After the incident a spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “The crew's behaviour and their treatment of the patient was completely unacceptable and well below the high standards of clinical care on which we pride ourselves.

“Each year we receive many more compliments on our service than complaints, and we are confident that this was an isolated incident among the 540,000 emergency calls we deal with each year.

The HPC panel meets on Monday in London and will decide if there was misconduct and /or lack of competence and, if so, his fitness to practise as a registered health professional is impaired.

Mr MacFarlane was not available for comment yesterday.

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