Decorated paramedic found guilty of misconduct after failing to attempt resuscitation on patient

A decorated paramedic has been found guilty of misconduct after failing to attempt resuscitation on a 93-year-old woman in an Ilford care home on Christmas morning.

Alan Clark MBE decided the woman, who has not been named, was dead even though there was still heart activity, a Health Professions Council hearing was told.

Mr Clark and two colleagues from Whipps Cross ambulance station were called out to Birchwood Care Home in Clayhall Avenue, Clayhall, on Christmas Day 2010 to a patient with breathing difficulties.

Mr Clark 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, it was said.

The hearing was told that Mr Clark, who was given an MBE in 2007 for his work in the ambulance service since 1985, 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.

He said the woman was already dead when he arrived at the care home.

But the three-man panel at the council’s headquarters in south-east London rejected his claim and decided his fitness to practise was impaired due to his misconduct.

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He will now hear his fate at a later date yet to be announced.

Student paramedic Corinne Zeiderman, who was on the call with Mr Clark, said he did not tell his colleagues what he was doing and just sent her to fetch equipment.

Mr Clark, who was working for the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, told the hearing he had been under stress during the incident because members of the woman’s family were upset.

It was suggested Mr Clark and the woman’s daughter discussed the mother’s wish to not be revived as she was very ill.

But the panel found Mr Clark asked no questions to determine whether the patient was in the end stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and no information was given with which he could have formed that view.

The decision was reached on Friday and the determination was released on Monday.