NHS service apologises to family of woman who died following bungled 111 call

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·3-min read
Beverley Wildeboer of Braydon Manor, near Purton, Wiltshire, who died in 2017 after a bungled call with an NHS 111 call handler. (SWNS)
Beverley Wildeboer of Braydon Manor, near Purton, Wiltshire, who died in 2017 after a bungled call with an NHS 111 call handler. (SWNS)

An NHS service has apologised to the family of a woman who died following a bungled 111 call. 

Beverley Wildeboer, 63, passed away after an NHS 111 call-handler failed to call an ambulance when she was suffering chest pains in 2017.  

The NHS 111 service has now issued an apology to the family, who have received an undisclosed payout.

Her husband, Julio Wildeboer, 67, called the NHS non-emergency line in April 2017 to report a pain across his wife’s shoulders that had spread to her chest.

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Wildeboer had become wheelchair-bound just a year earlier due to a rare condition affecting her eyes and spinal cord. 

She had also previously suffered a heart attack which resulted in her having a stent fitted.

After speaking to the health advisor at NHS 111, her husband was told she could go to hospital or he could wait for a call from her GP.

Eventually, it was agreed that he would take her to Chippenham hospital.

But his wife collapsed before they arrived and when an ambulance was called, the paramedics couldn’t save her.

He said: “This claim has been about highlighting the dangers involved in the remote diagnosis of illnesses.

“We want to make sure no other family endures the pain and trauma we experienced.”

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It comes after the family instructed medical law firm Enable Law to investigate Wildeboer’s care leading up to her death.

It found that the call handler failed to correctly assess the seriousness of her condition and failed to ask the right questions after being told Wildeboer had previously had a heart attack.

The firm also stated the wrong option was selected on the computer programme and the out-of-hours GP failed to obtain the medical record taken by the two NHS call handlers.

Paul Sankey, a lawyer who worked on the case, suggested that Wildeboer may have survived had an ambulance been called.

He said: “This tragic case was never about money. It was about highlighting the failings that tragically contributed to Beverley’s death - and trying to ensure lessons are learned to avoid the same happening to others.”

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Since the investigation, a spokesman for Practice Plus Group, which ran the service for the NHS, said: “We would like to pass on our condolences to Mrs Wildeboer’s family.

"We are glad that we have been able to reach a resolution with them while understanding that this continues to be a difficult time.

“Whenever very sad circumstances such as these give rise to concerns we always conduct a thorough investigation to understand what lessons can be learned, even from very rare events, to ensure that we continue to run services which are as safe as possible for patients.”

The NHS was approached for comment.

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