MP for Leighton Buzzard calls for ugent review of policy that meant paramedics were not sent to dying teenager

Lucas PollardLucas Pollard
Lucas Pollard
The ‘end of shift’ policy will now be reviewed following the death of Lucas Pollard, 14

Andrew Selous, MP for South West Beds, has written to the ambulance trust after an inquest into the death of 14-year-old Lucas Pollard, held earlier this month, heard that the vehicle was not sent due to the trust’s ‘end of shift’ policy.

David Grover, of the East of England Ambulance Service, who compiled the report for the coroner, said the policy had been introduced for staff well-being – and they would only be called out in the last 30 minutes of their shift in particular circumstances such as cardiac arrest or maternity.

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Mr Selous said: “My heart goes out to the family who lost a child and the family whose child suffered serious injuries.”

The accident happened last June in Old Road, Linslade when Lucas crashed his electric dirt bike down Old Road in Linslade.

The MP added: "I know the Leighton Buzzard ambulance station well and have great admiration for the staff who work there who trained me to become a community first responder in the station. It is really important that we get this policy urgently reviewed by the ambulance trust and I have asked them to write back to me urgently to let me know what steps they are taking to bring this out.”

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We understand the upset and anger that this incident has caused, and our hearts continue to go out to Lucas’ family and friends.

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“The end of shift policy was introduced in response to hospital handover delays and the risk of crew members being significantly late off shift. This was creating a risk of both unsafe care due to fatigue and late starts for following shifts which was impacting our ability to respond to patients.

“We are writing to Mr Andrew Selous MP to confirm that the policy is currently under review following this tragic incident.”

At the inquest the coroner said he would be issuing a prevention of future deaths report in relation to the rigid application of the end of shift policy and communication gaps between the ambulance trust’s critical care desk and ambulance dispatchers. But he concluded that Lucas’ injuries were so catastrophic he would not have survived.

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