Death of pregnant Rotherham woman was ‘wholly preventable’, says coroner  

The death of a pregnant woman was "wholly preventable" a coroner has ruled after an inquest heard she waited more than two-and-a-half hours for an ambulance.

Gail Bailey, aged 36, of Kimberworth, started suffering severe abdominal pains and collapsed due to an ectopic pregnancy while on holiday at Ingoldmells, Lincolnshire, in August 2017.   

Gail and Ryan Bailey.

Gail and Ryan Bailey.

READ MORE: Ram raiders drive car into JD Sports in Sheffield

Her husband Ryan, aged 37, dialled 999 for an ambulance and told the operator that his wife was nine weeks pregnant. 

He also informed them that a hospital had advised she underwent a scan because she could be suffering from a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication.

However, her emergency response was downgraded and an East Midlands Ambulance Service tactical commander called him back to complete a “blind” triage process.

Gail and Ryan Bailey.

Gail and Ryan Bailey.

The commander was not logged on to a computer system which would have taken them through specific questions to fully establish the emergency response a patient required.

READ MORE: These are the worst performing Sheffield primary schools according to government figures

An inquest held in Lincoln this week heard that it took more than two-and-a-half hours for an ambulance to arrive. 

Mrs Bailey was taken to Boston Pilgrim Hospital – 25 miles from where the couple were staying – and pronounced dead around an hour later.

Coroner Paul Smith said the death was "wholly preventable" and added that “on the balance of probability” she would have lived if the ambulance had arrived earlier. 

A post-mortem examination found Mrs Bailey died as a result of hemoperitoneum, secondary to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy of the left fallopian tube.

East Midlands Ambulance Service’s internal investigation report found it was “likely that the delayed attendance” to Mrs Bailey “has been detrimental to the subsequent outcome.”

The court heard that the ambulance service is in the process of making a number of changes to their resourcing in an attempt to prevent further deaths.

After the hearing, Mr Bailey said: “There are no words to fully describe the way I feel about watching my wife dying as we waited for an ambulance and then in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

“All I can hope for now is that Gail did not die in vain. I do not want anyone else to go through what I have been through and lose a loved one in such a horrific and needless way.”

READ MORE: Killers locked up for over 53 years in one week of justice at Sheffield Crown Court

Anne Brundell, a specialist medical negligence solicitor for Irwin Mitchell, which has been representing the family, added: “Gail’s death sadly highlights how dangerous ectopic pregnancies can be. It is now vital that the ambulance trust learns lessons to improve patient care.” 

The ambulance service said in a statement: "We fully accept the coroner's findings and conclusions, and we accept that our care in this instance was not as it should have been.

"We have put measures in place within the trust to prevent this from happening again."