Belfast Telegraph

Probe after ambulance takes 10 hours to reach pensioner who died alone in Belfast home

An investigation is underway after a pensioner died alone while it took an ambulance 10 hours to reach him at his Belfast home.

Jimmy Cassidy (79) was found dead in his bathroom at Brookvale Fold in the early hours of Sunday after suffering a heart attack.

The previous evening he was found collapsed by friend Michael O'Reilly.

Jimmy had become housebound in recent months after a fight with cancer and a fall - but Mr O'Reilly would regularly bring groceries to him.

The Irish News reports Mr O'Reilly arrived at Jimmy's home at around 7pm on Saturday night and found him collapsed and called an ambulance.

He put a blanket on him and waited with him. He then called the ambulance again at 9pm. He had to leave at 11.15pm so he left the door open so the ambulance crew could get in.

The next morning at 7am Mr O'Reilly was told by the police that Mr Cassidy had been found dead at 5am when the ambulance personnel arrived.

Mr O'Reilly now wants answers as to why it took so long for the ambulance to arrive.

He said: "If I had known he was dying, I wouldn't have left the house.

"I thought the ambulance would have been there shortly."

A spokesman for the Ambulance Service said: "The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is aware of the concerns surrounding this call and have commenced an internal investigation into the circumstances pertaining at the time.

"As such NIAS is unable to provide any further comment at this time."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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