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Islington Tribune - by PETER GRUNER
Published: 5 June 2009
Shocked by the mess: solicitor Nick Story
Shocked by the mess: solicitor Nick Story
Family’s ‘blood on the carpet’ ordeal

Ambulance service ‘sorry’ after paramedics leave needles and bandages in the dining room

A HIGHBURY couple were happy to help when paramedics wanted to turn their garden and then dining room into an emergency treatment area for a seriously injured intruder.
But solicitor Nick Story and his wife Jabeen, who have three young children, were horrified to discover abandoned needles, bloody bandages, and other medical paraphernalia after paramedics and their patient had left on Tuesday.
This week London Ambulance Service (LAS) apologised to the Storys for the “oversight” and offered to pay £300 to deep-clean the house in Conewood Street.
The couple accepted the apology and say their anger is directed not so much at paramedics, who may have saved the man’s life, but at contractors they claim left scaffolding unsecured, allowing the intruder access.
Mr Story called the police at 10.30pm on Tuesday after hearing someone moving about in the back garden.
He said: “I called out to whoever it was to get out of my garden or I’d call the police. The bloke replied: ‘Don’t call the police’.”
Police arrived within minutes and discovered that the man had clambered up the scaffolding and fallen 20ft into the Story’s garden.
Paramedics treated him in the garden and then moved him into the Story’s dining room, which is filled with toys and is a children’s play area.
The man suffered two fractured ankles, a shattered coccyx and head injuries and was later admitted to hospital.
Mr Story said: “They were in the garden when one of the police officers asked to bring him through. We thought they meant to an ambulance but actually they wanted to use the back dining room. We were happy to help in every way.”
The Storys, and their neighbours, waited outside for an hour – the children slept blissfully unaware upstairs – as paramedics treated the man and police tried to discover his identity.
Finally, after the Storys had provided many cups of tea, the paramedics left and police allowed the couple back indoors.
Mr Story said: “We couldn’t believe the state of the dining room. There was blood on the carpet, which we accepted was inevitable, but they had left used needles. What was horrifying is that they had left the needles and an oxygen mask among the children’s toys.
“There was even a plastic bag full of bloodied bandages left on the children’s buggy. A police officer was as shocked as we were. As he moved the bag full of bandages away, my wife lifted the buggy and some boxes opened up and all these needles fell out.”
LAS said the medical materials were left because the paramedics thought that the dining room and garden were crime scene” and should not be disturbed. They said: “We sent a fast response car, two ambulance crews, a duty manager and a medical team to the scene. Once we were advised part of the address was not a crime scene, we liaised with the residents about the cleaning of the property.
“We have been in contact with the residents and will share a full account of the events surrounding this incident with them in due course.”
Mr Story added: “We realise the paramedics did a wonderful job that night. We don’t like to criticise the NHS but we were worried about the possibility of infections from contaminated needles and bandages.”
And the Storys - who have been complaining about the scaffolding for almost a year, are planning an emergency meeting with the contractors today (Friday).
Site contractors Jerram Falkus were unavailable for comment.

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