Man dies at Sussex care home as neighbours block ambulances sent to treat him in row over parking

Paramedics unable to reach home for over three hours after couple obstructed entrance with two cars 

Emma Snaith,Charlie Moloney
Saturday 16 February 2019 17:13
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A man in his 90s died after two ambulances called to treat him were blocked for more than three hours by neighbours of his care home in a parking row.

A couple used their two cars to block in the ambulances trying to reach the man in response to a "category 1 emergency" at Cedarwood House in East Sussex on Wednesday night.

It was not until police were called that paramedics were able to move the cars to allow the ambulances through, after they were blocked for over three hours between 5-8.30pm.

Meanwhile, the elderly man died inside the home, which cares for 20 patients with dementia.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: "We are aware that ambulances were blocked in at the scene but there were no arrests."

Lucy Hunt, the manager of Cedarwood House, said a couple from the same household had blocked the entrance to the home as they objected to ambulances being parked on the road outside the premises.

"I know that they get frustrated with the parking situation outside of the home,” she said.

“We are on just a small private lane but it was an emergency situation in which unfortunately a male resident died.

“The way the cars were parked, it was to cause as many problems for the ambulance staff as they could.”

She added: "The gentleman did actually pass away before they could have helped him but if they needed to respond very quickly they wouldn't have been able to.”

Another neighbour at the scene said that one of the neighbours who had blocked the ambulances shouted at ambulance crews: "I've got a job to do as well!"

Ms Hunt, who leads a team of 24 staff, added: "We have problems with other neighbours too, they have no compassion whatsoever for the job we do here or any of the residents.

“Any time the ambulance comes down here they are banging on the doors and telling them to move."

The South East Coast Ambulance Service said the crew were abused for stopping outside the home.

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A spokesperson said: “A member of staff, on returning to the vehicle during the course of the emergency to get equipment, was challenged by a motorist who became verbally aggressive and the matter was reported to the police.

"We would urge motorists to be patient while we attend to patients."

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