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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pictured: The disabled man 'left to die by paramedics because he wasn't worth saving'

By Daily Mail Reporter

Barry Baker

Barry Baker: Paramedics are accused of not bothering to revive him

Two ambulancemen have been arrested for allegedly ignoring a dying man.

They were detained after police were given a tape recording of them in the patient's house in which they were said to have discussed not bothering to try to revive him.

The ambulance crew had been sent to Barry Baker's home after he dialled 999 saying he thought he was having a heart attack.

Ambulance controllers kept Mr Baker talking on the phone as they ordered the paramedic and ambulance technician to use their blue lights to get to him as quickly as possible.

But 59-year-old Mr Baker, who was disabled and lived alone, collapsed unconscious while talking on the phone, leaving the line open to the control centre as he lay on the floor.

Minutes later astonished dispatch centre staff heard their crew enter the house, apparently making disparaging comments about the state of the home.

A police source, who asked not to be named, said the ambulancemen were then heard over the phone discussing Mr Baker and allegedly saying 'words to the effect that he was not worth saving'.

A police spokesman confirmed the arrests and added: 'The men, aged 35 and 44 and from the Brighton area, have been arrested and questioned following the death of a man in Brighton. They were detained on suspicion of wilfully neglecting to perform a duty in public office, contrary to Common Law. They have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.'

Mr Baker, who used sticks to walk after having hip replacement operations, made a 999 call in the early hours of November 29.

The crew from Brighton Ambulance station (pictured) were sent to Barry Baker's home after he called 999 saying he thought he was having a heart attack

The crew from Brighton Ambulance station (pictured) were sent to Barry Baker's home after he called 999 saying he thought he was having a heart attack

He told the controller he had severe chest pains and the ambulance crew from Brighton was immediately sent to his home.

The police source said that despite Mr Baker collapsing, the controller was able to hear everything because the phone line remained open.

'What they heard after their ambulance crew arrived frankly astonished them,' said the source. 'They are apparently heard to comment on seeing Mr Baker and saying-that it was not worth bothering to try to carry out resuscitation to try to save him.

'They then are heard discussing what to tell ambulance control and allegedly decide to say that he was already dead when they arrived.

'The controllers were so shocked by what seemed to be their colleagues' lack of care for their patient that they immediately contacted senior managers and the police were called in.'

Barry Baker lived alone in this detached house

Barry Baker lived alone in this detached house

Police were called to Mr Baker's home and made arrangements for his body to be removed.

South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust said both men had been suspended from duty.

A spokesman said: 'We are giving the police our full co- operation and are not in a position to comment further.'

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