Family of deceased schoolboy condemns "arrogant and hostile" behaviour of paramedics in tragic case

THE “disgusted” relatives of a tragic schoolboy condemned the “arrogant and hostile” behaviour of two paramedics – and described bosses’ response to their complaint as nonsense.

Yusuf Nazir’s family say they are disappointed to learn the crew members will not be dismissed following an investigation by Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Five-year-old Yusuf, from Masbrough, died at Sheffield Children’s Hospital last November — a week after he was sent home from Rotherham Hospital despite suffering a throat infection.

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After his condition failed to improve, the family called an ambulance and insisted on going to the children’s hospital because of their rejection at Rotherham.

But they say they were told by a paramedic that an ambulance was “not a taxi service” and Yusuf would be taken to the nearest hospital.

The boy’s uncle, Zaheer Ahmed, said two female paramedics had spent 45 minutes being “argumentative and rude” to the family and it was only when he had called 999 to object, and the call handler said the family had a choice of hospital, that the crew had agreed to take Yusuf to Sheffield.

In their complaint to YAS, Yusuf’s grieving family said they were “absolutely disgusted” at the treatment they received from these “so-called professional people” who showed “no sympathy or empathy at the family’s time of need”.  

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YAS has since written in reply to the solicitors and family saying all staff members are expected to be “compassionate, dedicated and caring”.

The service said its own Dignity and Respect campaign promoted “the need to treat everyone in the same way we would expect our friends and family to be treated” and the trust was sorry staff behaviour “fell below expectations on this occasion”.

The paramedic told the YAS that given Yusuf’s medical condition, they had advised he was seen at the nearest emergency department — Rotherham.

While this was in line with YAS policy, the family were “extremely unhappy with this”.  

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When challenged by them, the crew member confirmed they had commented: “Unfortunately you don’t get to choose, we’re not a taxi service.”

YAS accepted it was a “difficult attendance” and Yusuf’s family had had a “difficult and frustrating week” and understood “they (the paramedics) may have appeared reluctant to help further, which impacted their situation”.  

The “taxi service” comment was “not said in a malicious way, more of a factual way” and they regretted “any misunderstanding”, the ambulance service said.

But they added they were disappointed relatives “recalled” their approach as “arrogant and hostile”, although they would “reflect on this incident and take on board the family’s comments”.

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The YAS investigation found the crew had acted in line with policy, but acknowledged there had been “a breakdown in communication between the clinicians and family”.

A clinical case review concluded their behaviour did not “satisfy the need for disciplinary action”.  

YAS said its patients relations team monitor repeat reports of poor practice and behaviour and the family’s complaint will remain on the paramedics’ record.  

The service sent its “sincere apologies” to the family “for the distress caused at what was an already extremely difficult and worrying time for them”.  

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Mr Ahmed said: “They (YAS) are claiming now it was a clinical decision that he needed to go to the nearest hospital, but if he was that bad at that time Sheffield Children’s Hospital would have been the closest paediatric high dependency unit, so that’s a lot of nonsense.

“They were rude and argumentative.

“We know what we went through, and we feel as though they are not capable to do that job — you’ve got to be sensitive in a job like that.”  

The family, who are awaiting the findings of an independent inquiry into Yusuf’s death, are considering referring the incident to the health ombudsman to investigate further.