Man’s body left at ambulance station by Downham Market crew, inquest told

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An inquest heard how a Downham ambulance crew had left a body at a station for three hours.

The body of 32-year-old James Harrison was found in a Littleport street just after 5am in September last year and should have taken it straight to the mortuary at a local hospital.

Mr Harrison was pronounced dead at 5.53am – shortly before paramedics David Glenton and Ann-Marie Poole were due to knock off at night shift at 6am.

First responder Dharamendra Narotam also attended.

The inquest in Chatteris on Tuesday heard the pair, who were already working overtime, were happy to transport the body straight to hospital.

Mr Narotam suggested the body could be left at Ely ambulance station and collected by a local undertaker later.

Mr Narotam said: “I was planning on taking the body to the mortuary but the day shift crew started at 8am so they were dispatched to take the body.”

Tracy Nicholls, director of clinical quality at the EEAST, said: “The trust has carried out a full investigation into this matter and it is clear that incorrect decisions were made and the trust’s procedures were not followed.

“As a result of this we immediately sent out an instruction to staff that such a practice is not acceptable and must not happen.”