'Selfless' Jade, 45, dies after ambulance delay to charity shop

Jade Marie Griffiths-Jones
-Credit:Jenna Louca

A woman described as a 'perfect person' died after an agonising delay for an ambulance. Jade Marie Griffiths-Jones was working at the 'Scope' charity shop when she experienced sudden, severe chest pains.

The 45-year-old deputy manager called 999 at 1.33pm on May 31 last year and her plea was classified as 'Category 2' by West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) - meaning paramedics should arrive within approximately 18 minutes.

However, Ms Griffiths-Jones, from Staffordshire, had to call for assistance three more times before paramedics arrived at the shop at 3.07pm. Her final distress call, made at 3.01pm, was classified as Category One, reserved for those in life-threatening conditions.

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Recalling the events, Jenna Louca, cousin of Ms Griffiths-Jones, disclosed how her relative suffered a heart attack and collapsed whilst awaiting medical attention. A brave colleague, with aid from a customer, administered CPR until the emergency services arrived and took her to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham,

Tragically, after several agonising days in hospital, Ms Griffiths-Jones lost her battle for life. The official cause of death was recorded as hypoxic-ischaemic brain damage, cardiac arrest, diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease.

News of Griffiths-Jones' death comes on the same day StokeonTrentLive reported the outcome of Bradley Holder's inquest. The 19-year-old was acting erratically at a house in High Lane, Burslem, when the alarm was raised on December 18, 2022. but despite two frantic 999 calls paramedics failed to turn up at the address and Bradley was found dead the following morning.

Speaking to Birmingham Live., Ms Louca declared: "The hospital staff were amazing. They did everything they could for her, but unfortunately she didn't make it.

"She was on a ventilator and had showed signs of improvement before getting worse again. Jade's brain was basically dying because it was starved of oxygen.

"I had a call in December last year from investigators at WMAS who said they had picked up Jade's case as it had been highlighted as a huge failing. An inquest was held this month after the coroner reopened it.

"If the ambulance had turned up on time, she might not have had a heart attack. Or if she did, she would have been in hospital where it would have been better."

Ms Louca described her cousin, an avid Birmingham City fan, as 'selfless' and the 'perfect person'. "Her mother died in February last year and that left Jade's younger brother alone in Skegness.

"Jade was straight up there to be by his side. She was his rock before her passing. She was amazing. I'm highlighting her story because I don't want it to happen to anyone else. The government needs to look at NHS delays properly. Something needs to be done."

WMAS apologised to Ms Griffiths-Jones' family and offered its condolences. It said some patients in the region were waiting longer than it would like for paramedics to arrive due to "long hospital handover delays".

The service lost around 250,000 hours of ambulance time in 2023-24 due to hospital handover delays. That was the equivalent to around 60 x 12 hours shifts every day.

WMAS has reported a decrease in the number of patients it transports to hospital compared to five years ago, with less than half of the calls they receive resulting in a trip to the emergency department.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Ambulance Service expressed regret, stating: "Firstly, we would like to apologise to the family of Ms Griffiths-Jones for the delayed response and offer our condolences. Sadly, we're seeing some patients wait longer than we would want for ambulances to arrive as a result of long hospital handover delays."

They further explained the impact of these delays: "If there are long hospital handover delays, with our crews left caring for patients that need admitting to hospital, they're simply unable to respond to the next call - which can impact on the care of the patient in the community. We continue to work hard with our partners to find new ways to reduce these delays, so that our crews can respond more quickly and save more lives."

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