Paramedic who did not try to revive Clayhall pensioner escapes permanent ban after admitting failings

A decorated paramedic who did not bother trying to revive a 93-year-old woman escaped being permanently banned from the profession after admitting he was wrong.

Alan Clark MBE defiantly claimed he was in the right after declaring a lifeless pensioner at Birchwood Care Home, Clayhall Avenue, Clayhall, was dead even though there was still heart activity.

He shunned a colleague’s offer of a defibrillator and took little or no action for more than ten minutes before calling the clinical help desk for advice.

Clark eventually asked for his own defibrillator to be fetched, but did not use it and made no efforts to perform CPR before declaring the woman dead on Christmas Day 2010.

Yesterday he admitted to the Health and care Professions Council his actions were wrong as he was banned from working as a paramedic for a year.

Gillian Fleming, chairing the hearing, said his belated admissions of guilt had saved him from a permanent ban.

“By his recent reflections, Mr Clark has developed a degree of insight of his shortcomings, and expressions of regret and apology are genuine,” she added.

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Clark had told an earlier hearing the woman was already dead when he arrived at the care home and fiercely contested the allegations against him.

The HPC panel ruled he had made no efforts to save the woman and there was no evidence she was dead when Clark arrived.

Clark, a paramedic of more than 25 years’ service, claimed at the earlier hearing that sticking to the guidelines would “cramp his style” when treating patients.

But he now insists he will rigidly adhere to guidelines in the future.

He was given a 12-month suspension order by the panel, and must demonstrate to a future hearing that he is safe to return to work after the ban expires.