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January 27, 2011

UK ambulance death inquest questions medic training

The Press Association

LONDON — A paramedic looking after a man from east London who fell from a moving ambulance had not been given adequate training to determine if patients had given consent to be treated, an inquest heard.

Madeline Basford-Herd was treating Tom Inglis, 22, in the back of an ambulance after he had been injured in a fight.

But he then fell from the vehicle while it was en-route to hospital and suffered head injuries resulting in brain damage.

His mother, Frances Inglis, 58, was jailed for murder at the Old Bailey last year after she injected him with a lethal dose of heroin months after he sustained the head injuries so she could end his "living hell''.

An inquest to determine how Mr Inglis fell from the ambulance in July 2007 has heard that Ms Basford-Herd was not fully trained in the legal complexities of assessing a patient's capacity to give consent for treatment.

On Thursday, the deputy director of operations for the London Ambulance Service, Jason Killens, acknowledged that there had been some problems with the training given to paramedics when dealing with capacity to consent issues prior to 2007.

Katie Scott, representing the Inglis family at the hearing in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, asked him: "Were you concerned that she didn't understand the legal framework for the consenting of treatment?''

Mr Killens explained: "This is a very complex issue. What's apparent here and in other cases is that there is a lack of understanding of the complexities and difficulties associated with this.'' Mr Killens said that additional support and training was now in place to help staff dealing with capacity for treatment consent.

Ms Basford-Herd has previously told the hearing that Mr Inglis was reluctant to be taken to hospital following the fight at The Fiddler's pub in Dagenham in the early hours of July 7. She said that once inside the ambulance he had become "agitated'' and had suffered "intermittent confused episodes''.

Shortly into the journey to Queen's Hospital in Romford, she said that he had moved to the back of the ambulance and threatened to jump. She said she asked her colleague and partner Susan Basford-Herd to stop the ambulance but when she turned round to face Mr Inglis he was gone.

Copyright 2011 The Press Association Limited

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