Paramedics in Ely dumped man's body by bins 'because they wanted to finish work on time'

Body believed to be that of James Harrison  was left ‘for more than an hour’

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The Independent Online

An ambulance service has apologised after claims paramedics left a man's body unattended beside rubbish bins, because they wanted to finish work on time.

The East of England Ambulance crew was called out after a man, believed to be James Harrison, 32, collapsed and died near his home in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Harrison, of Hardwicke Close in Littleport was found dead in the street near the town's fire station at around 5am on September 24.

Crews who collected his body were reportedly due to finish a night shift and were said to have been “authorised” to leave the body in the garage area at Ely Ambulance Station instead of being taken to a mortuary at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge.

The allegations came to light after a whistle-blower contacted the Ely Standard claiming Mr Harrison's body was left on the floor, next to the bins, at the station for more than an hour.

Peter Bone, the Conservative MP for Wellingborough, described the alleged incident as "appalling" and called for an investigation "at the highest level".

The ambulance service has apologised but refused to confirm any details regarding the incident.

Chief executive Anthony Marsh said the trust is "working with the family" to find out what happened.

"We are very sorry for what happened and have launched a thorough investigation," he added. "This involves working with the family and everyone who responded to the patient."

The East of England Ambulance Service would not confirm or deny if the body was that of James Harrison or comment on whether any staff members will be investigated over the claims.

A spokesperson told The Independent the investigation into the alleged incident would be "all encompassing".

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed his death was not being treated as suspicious and the case was passed to the coroner.

An inquest was opened and adjourned and will resume on 14 January.